The cervical spine is located between the base of the skull and the shoulders. There are seven cervical vertebrae denoted as C1 (nearest the skull) to C7 (nearest the collarbone). Cervical spine arthritis is an inflammation of one or more of the joints of the cervical spine, which are responsible for connecting adjacent vertebra.
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, and this type of arthritis often occurs naturally as part of the aging process. Factors influencing the rate of cervical spinal osteoarthritis development include genetic predisposition, autoimmune diseases and the overuse of or an injury to a cervical vertebra.
Cervical spine arthritis, as mentioned previously, usually presents itself as a form of osteoarthritis, a degenerative disease characterized by the breakdown and eventual loss of cartilage within a joint. When cartilage breaks down in the spine, the vertebral body’s facet joints can rub together, resulting in pain and inflammation.
Protective discs between the vertebrae also break down. To heal itself, the body grows extra bone around the vertebrae; these growths are called bone spurs. Bone spurs can protrude into surrounding nerves and cause increased discomfort. To learn about the symptoms of this condition as well as your options for cervical spine arthritis surgery, read the following article.
Symptoms of cervical spine arthritis
Symptoms of cervical spine arthritis can range from mild to severe and could become chronic. These symptoms include pain or tenderness with head motion, a crunching feeling or sound of bone rubbing on bone and limited range of motion. Following a correct diagnosis, medical experts usually agree that initial treatment should be attempted through conservative measures.
Therapy can include hot and cold compresses, pain medications, anti-inflammatories, low-impact exercises, massage therapy, chiropractic care and physical therapy. Occasionally, several weeks or months of these conservative treatments are not successful in controlling symptoms, particularly when bone spur growth is extensive.
Cervical spine arthritis surgery
If you’ve been diagnosed with cervical spine osteoarthritis or cervical rheumatoid arthritis and undergo conservative therapy without success, your doctor may suggest surgical treatment. There are minimally invasive outpatient procedures available that avoid many of the undesirable aspects of traditional open spine surgery, such as large 6- to 8-inch incisions and long recovery periods up to a year.
As the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery, USA Spine Care offers minimally invasive decompression, and in the most severe cases, stabilization procedures, to treat symptoms of arthritis of the spine as well as other degenerative spine conditions. Contact us today to discover how we can help you find relief from neck and back pain.
Our cervical spine arthritis procedures use small incisions that do not unnecessarily disrupt the muscles or ligaments surrounding the spine, resulting in a lower risk of complication and a shorter recovery period compared to traditional open spine surgery.^ To find out if you are a potential candidate for our surgery, reach out to our dedicated team today and ask for a free MRI review.*