If neck pain caused by the arthritis in the cervical (upper) spine is preventing you from doing the daily activities you enjoy, you should consult your physician or a spine care expert about the treatment options available to you.
Cervical arthritis is a degenerative spine condition that commonly develops as the spine begins to wear down with age and constant motion. Because this is a progressive condition, the symptoms may begin mildly and slowly worsen over time. For many patients experiencing mild symptoms of pain and limited mobility, conservative treatments are often the best course of action. You should ask your doctor about the conservative therapies that would help reduce your symptoms of arthritis of the neck.
Conservative treatment for arthritis of the neck
The type of treatment recommended by your physician will depend on the type of arthritis you have, the severity of your neck pain, the limits of your mobility, how far the degeneration has progressed and other similar factors.
The most common forms of conservative treatment include:
- Physical therapy — exercise to strengthen the neck muscles and improve range of motion
- Hot or cold therapy — heating pads to increase circulation and flexibility or an ice pack to reduce swelling and pain
- Lifestyle changes — avoiding activity that might exacerbate symptoms such as neck pain
- Anti-inflammatory injections —a shot consisting of a numbing agent and a corticosteroid to reduce pain and swelling
- Pain medicine — over-the-counter drugs like acetaminophen or ibuprofen, as well as prescription pain relievers
- Chiropractic therapy — including traction or nonsurgical spinal decompression therapy
- Alternative treatments — acupuncture, massage, herbal remedies
Often, conservative therapies can be combined to increase your pain relief. You should always consult your doctor before changing your treatment routine. You should also inform your physician or spine care specialist if you are not experiencing any pain relief after several months of conservative treatment.
Alternative treatment to back surgery for arthritis of the neck
If you have already completed several months of conservative treatment and you are still suffering from chronic pain, you may be a candidate for the minimally invasive spine surgery at USA Spine Care.
Our surgeons offer a minimally invasive approach to treat neck pain caused by spinal arthritis and other conditions. Before consenting to traditional open spine surgery for your cervical arthritis, learn about our safer and effective treatment alternative.^ Our minimally invasive decompression surgery and minimally invasive stabilization surgery is performed on an outpatient basis and offers a shorter recovery time compared to traditional open neck surgery. If you experience persistent symptoms associated with cervical arthritis, contact us to learn more about our surgeons, procedures and our state-of-the-art facilities.
Our caring and dedicated team can help you receive a no-cost MRI review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.