Is Cervical Spondylosis A Disability & Life Expectancy Of Someone With It?

The appearance of spondylosis corresponds to various degenerative changes (caused by wear and tear) on vertebral bodies. The cervical spondylosis is a degeneration of the cervical spine and associated intervertebral discs. It is a chronic condition.(1)

Is Cervical Spondylosis A Disability?

Cervical spondylosis doesn’t normally lead to impairment or disability. But often these modifications in the spine may induce compressing of the spinal cord and the nerve roots connected to it. This might make your hands or legs feel sluggish or clumsy and weak.

The Appearance Of Cervical Spondylosis

The cervical spine (cervical spine) is a typical area where spondylosis occurs. This variant of altered vertebrae occurs in advanced age. People over the age of 30 often have similar anomalies with no symptoms. It is difficult to draw a line between the problems of aging and other illnesses. Changes due to wear are different and often atypical. Pain in the neck, stiffness, or neurological complications (impaired nerve functions) are indications of cervical spondylosis.

Cervical spondylosis narrows the spinal canal (stenosis, spinal canal stenosis). In addition to muscle and nerve damage, changes to the vessels are possible. Possible consequences of cervical spondylosis are myelopathy and radiculopathy. Spondylogenic myelopathy shows up as damage to the spinal cord. Radiculopathy is an irritation of the nerve root.(2)

Life Expectancy Of Someone With Cervical Spondylosis

Cervical spondylosis is not a life-threatening disease. It is rather a disease that is suffered by about 90% of people after the age of 60. The main problem is the disease may reduce the quality of life significantly in some individuals.

Cervical spondylosis is treated to reduce pressure on the vertebrae of the neck region. The Physiotherapy offers numerous exercises that cause stretching and strengthening. Training the upper body and consciously walking upright correct unconscious incorrect posture. Swimming promotes the relaxation of the muscles and the mobility of the neck region. In lighter cases of cervical spondylosis, classic therapy methods are sufficient. These are based on targeted movement training. Alternative treatment options include osteopathy, acupuncture, and chiropractic.

Medications are used if the symptoms are persistent, painful, and restrict movement. These are pain-relieving (analgesic), anti-inflammatory (anti-inflammatory), or have a combined pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory, and antipyretic effect (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, a group of common pain relievers). Depending on the intensity of the effect, they can be obtained without a prescription or are prescribed.

Surgical interventions are advised in a few cases. They serve to reduce the build-up or are aimed at stiffening a vertebral area. Both approaches reduce pressure on the vertebrae, intervertebral discs, and spinal cord.(1)(2)(3)(4)

Causes Of Cervical Spondylosis

In most cases, spondylosis in the cervical spine is related to osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is the wear and tear of the joints. It occurs increasingly in the second half of life. The progressive process of wear can be explained by the longer use of the joints in the course of life. The aging process and overstressing, which are repeated, strain the intervertebral discs. They become drier and thinner. This leads to a loss of their elasticity. The surrounding ligaments also decrease or lose their function as support. The body reacts with countermeasures.

Spondyloarthritis arises when the bone regenerates excessively. It overgrows areas that are damaged by wear. The resulting constrictions press structures belonging to the spine. These formations are called spondylophytes. They cause disorders when they put pressure on neighboring areas. If these changes occur in the neck area, it is cervical spondylosis.(1)

Cervical Spondylosis Symptoms

The following symptoms are indicative of cervical spondylosis for patient and doctor:

  • Pain in the neck and neck region
  • Pain in the back of the head
  • Pain behind the eye socket (orbit)
  • Pain between the shoulder blades
  • Pain, numbness, and tingling on the upper and lower limbs
  • Various sensitive disorders in the neck and head area
  • Increased pain from movement

Other possible symptoms include stiffness of the neck, dizziness and balance disorders, and, in rare cases, migraines. The range of motion of the neck and upper body are restricted. Bending forward, backward stretching, bending to the side, and turning the neck is difficult. Sometimes the region of the neck and neck becomes immobile.(3)

Cervical Spondylosis Diagnosis

The diagnosis of cervical spondylosis is based on clinical symptoms. To record this, the doctor asks the patient (medical history). Patients are examined and assessed neurologically. The damage and changes in the cervical spine (cervical degeneration) affect the arms and legs. If there are pain, numbness, and other unclear limb problems, an examination of the cervical spine is necessary. Moving the neck increases the various complaints. This serves as a clear indication. Imaging methods such as CT (computed tomography) and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) can confirm the diagnosis.(4)

References:

  1. Ahmed SB, Qamar A, Imran M, Usmani A, Mehar Y, ul Haque S. Cervical Spondylosis; An Inevitable But Preventable Catastrophe. 2019.
  2. Bai J, Yu K, Sun Y, Kong L, Shen Y. Prevalence of and risk factors for Modic change in patients with symptomatic cervical spondylosis: an observational study. Journal of pain research. 2018;11:355.
  3. Binder AI. Cervical spondylosis and neck pain. Bmj. 2007;334(7592):527-531.
  4. Gopinath N. A Comparitive study on Pain Management of Cervical Spondylosis with Homoeopathic Medicine and Homoeopathic Medicine with Physiotherapy, Sarada Krishna Homoeopathic Medical College, Kulasekharam; 2018.

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