4 Signs of Neck Arthritis

4 Signs of Neck Arthritis

From cars to household appliances, everything seems to slow up and break down as it ages. The same is true in your body. You start noticing minor aches and pains, your stamina wanes, and your hearing and vision get a little iffy. 

And if you’re like more than 63 million other aging adults in America, arthritis has settled in at least one of your joints. Could that pain in your neck be arthritis, too?

Our team at Regency Pain & Therapy Institute in Mansfield, Texas specializes in diagnosing and treating all types of arthritis — did you know there are more than 100 kinds? While arthritis has no cure, we can do a lot to get you out of pain and get you moving more freely. Here are a few of the signs that point to neck arthritis.

How did I get neck arthritis?

Most people get arthritis of some type to some degree as they age. Osteoarthritis is the most common form, as it’s caused by a lifetime of wear-and-tear on the protective cartilage in your joints. It can strike anywhere, but knees, hips, hands, wrists, and shoulders are hot spots.

When arthritis settles in your neck, it’s technically called cervical (meaning the neck region of your spine) spondylosis (meaning pain due to spine degeneration). It’s not a communicable disease, nor is it caused by a virus or bacterium, it’s simply the natural progression of a well-used joint. 

What does neck arthritis feel like?

Some people have cervical spondylosis and never even know it. Others experience clear symptoms, such as these four common signs.

1. Headaches

Headaches that stem from neck arthritis are actually not headaches at all, but rather referred pain that you perceive as a headache. We call this a cervicogenic headache, which is a secondary type of headache, one caused by another condition — in this case, the degeneration of the discs and vertebrae in your neck.

2. Popping and grinding noises

Just like many arthritis types, cervical spondylosis makes its presence known every time you twist, bend, or turn your neck. Some say it sounds like they have gravel in their bones. This audible symptom may result from:

This symptom is called neck crepitus, and it may be accompanied by some pain and stiffness as well.

3. Muscle spasms

Cervical spondylosis is known to trigger muscle spasms in the neck and shoulders. If you experience this, you can attest that it typically comes on suddenly and presents with sharp pain and stiffness. It may even cause your head or neck to jerk to one side or feel stuck in a bent position until it resolves. 

4. Weakness and numbness

If your neck arthritis causes the space in your cervical spine to narrow, the nerves that pass in and out of that area can easily become compressed. Those nerves travel through your shoulders, down your arms, and into your hands and fingers, so if they become irritated, pinched, or damaged, you may feel the repercussions — weakness, numbness, and tingling — all the way down to your fingertips.

What can I do about neck arthritis?

If you have any of the symptoms of cervical spondylosis, we encourage you to come see our expert team. We start by getting an accurate diagnosis of your condition, because your neck pain may indicate arthritis, but it may also point to other conditions, such as spinal stenosis, whiplash, or a herniated disc, to name a few. 

If it’s arthritis, we get you started on a personalized physical therapy regimen that will increase your range of motion, decrease inflammation, and reduce your pain. We also apply osteopathic manipulative treatments to realign shifted joints, and interventional pain management techniques to help you live comfortably despite your arthritic neck. 

If you have neck pain, don’t wait for it to get worse. Schedule an appointment at Regency Pain & Therapy Institute today. 

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