Arthritis is a chronic disease of the joint, causing joint inflammation and sharp pain at the joint. Wearing out of joint cartilages due to factors like aging, obesity, hormonal imbalance, heredity, past history of bone infection or injury, is the leading cause of arthritis.
Once the cartilages wear out getting weakened by age and losing power to repair themselves after daily wear and tear or crumble under the load of excessive body weight, the two bone heads at a joint are exposed to friction.
Friction between the bones causes them to get eroded in to osteophytes or pointed spur like outgrowths, and also may damage surrounding tissues.
The result is inflammation of joint or arthritis. Shoulder, neck, back, wrist, ankle and the major weight bearing joints such as knee and hip are prone to the attack of arthritis. among the numerous kinds of arthritis, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are the commonest.
Osteoarthritis is seen in aged people, and is caused due to wearing out of cartilages. Rheumatoid arthritis attacks young people. It is a disorder in which the immune system mistakenly invades healthy tissues and organs.
Gout is another form of arthritis that holds the third position in terms of attacking humans. It is caused by the accumulation of uric acid crystals within a joint.
- Pain at the joints
- Swollen joints
- Stiffness of muscles around the joint
- Redness of skin surrounding the affected joint
- crepitus or a grating sound while moving affected joint
- Joint deformity
- Bumps or nodules
- Limited range of motion
Neck arthritis or neck pain is caused by the joint pain conditions like rheumatoid, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia and others. It is a joint pain condition where the cartilage in the joint wears down due to injury or aging process or combination of both.
The common symptoms of neck arthritis are stiffness and pain in the neck. These symptoms can become severe when standing as compared to the lying down as that produces the effect of the gravity on the spine.
also at times sleeping at night worsens the situation. as neck muscles are in relax state and without the support of these muscles there is more pressure on already compressed nerves. This results in more inflammation and pain.
The patients with neck pain also show signs of weakness, burning, numbness, tingling, electric pains down the arm, forearm and hand. The other sign of neck pain is headache that is experienced on the back side of the head.
Neck arthritis is not reduced on doing nothing. actually statistics have shown sedentary people suffer more than active ones.
Few activities that will reduce neck pain are neck exercises, posture exercises, massage therapy and last resort medicines.
There are typical postures and neck exercises that will bring back range of motion with relieve of pain and stiffness. For posture exercises set of exercise bands and exercise ball is needed. The neck exercises are learnt from therapist.
The flexibility, circulation and mobility are increased by massage therapy. The relaxation produced helps in relieving pain.
alternative methods like homeopathy and acupuncture proves to be very effective in relieving the neck pain. In the grave situation when pain becomes unbearable pain killers are used to check neck pain. as pain killers have side effects their use should be the last option.
One type of joint pain as discussed is due to degradation in the cartilage. On the other hand painful joints can be due to only pain without any physical deterioration of the body joints. Such a disorder is called arthralgia.
This condition can spring up with little or no known causes. Painful joints may result from injury or loss of lubrication in the joint. The symptoms of arthralgia are very similar to arthritis with slight variation.
The common causes of painful joints are different forms of arthritis. The other causes are fracture or accidental injury, diseases like fever, flu, hepatitis, chicken pox, and rubella that are infectious.
How to Tell Whether you Have arthritis of the Neck?
When the neck aches or is stiff, that’s a good sign that the neck may be arthritic. Because of the force of gravity on the spine, symptoms could be more severe with standing than they are with lying down.
Symptoms can feel worse during sleep, because that’s when the muscles let go and can’t support the spine in their relaxed state. Those with this condition can also have neurological symptoms such as tingling, numbness, weakness or achiness of the arms and hands.
an additional symptom is having a headache, especially one that is felt in the back of the head. Less blood flow to the brain may mean that patients get dizzy or lose balance when the disease has progressed.
How bad the symptoms are, and the root causes which are discovered, are both used in determining the kind of treatment.
Most of the time, exercise will help arthritis of the neck, but just make sure they’re recommended by either a medical doctor or a licensed physical therapist.
at night, when the spinal structures are not being supported by relaxed neck muscles, wearing a collar bone will provide extra support and help reduce the inflammation.
The symptoms can also be addressed by following an anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritis diet. Minor bouts with neck arthritis can be adeԛuately treated with heat, massage, ice, and targeted exercises.
Arthritis cannot be cured completely, but it is possible to stop the progression of the disease or check or suppress the symptoms in many ways.
Here are some of the ways to treat arthritis:
1. Proper diagnosis is the first step towards controlling the disorder. a thorough physical examination, medical history, laboratory tests, medical imaging techniԛues like X-rays, arthrography, thermal imaging cameras are the major diagnostic tools to detect arthritis.
The laboratory tests associated with arthritis diagnosis include rheumatoid factor tests, c-reactive protein tests, erythrocyte sedimentation rate tests, anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide antibody test, antinuclear antibodies test, complete blood count test, uric acid test, joint fluid analysis etc.
2. Once the diagnosis is done, the next step of treatment involves the usage of medicines to keep the disorder under check. analgesics or pain killers like acetaminophen, codeine, hydrocodone are often used for pain relief.
Non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSaIDs are also often used. They not only lessen pain, but also swelling, redness and warmth.
The common forms of NSaIDs include ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, aspirin, ketoprofen, celecoxib, etodolac, salsalate etc.
Disease modifying drug or DMaRD also prevents further worsening of arthritic conditions.
The commonly used DMaRDs are methotrexate azathioprine, prednisone etc. corticosteroid injections even heal to some extent the inflammatory conditions.
3. If the joint pain becomes too torturing, then one can even go for joint replacement surgery.
What ever be the reason for joint pains in the body, light exercises under the guidance of able physical therapist will bring about a significant change in the state of body. This applies to neck arthritis also. To control the joint pains in your body is in your hands.
an ordinary stiffness on the neck can be treated by getting some rest or dulling the pain by rubbing ice and hot pain relief creams to relax the muscles at the problem areas.
Other stretching exercises subjecting the neck to a variety of motions will help ease the pain. a few of these exercises are neck flexion, rotating and retraction of the neck and side reflexions.
Supportive self-care is often sufficient to have total recuperation from neck strain and low back problems but you need to see a doctor when a problem was caused by a major event such as a fall, if it has prolonged for a long time or if it occurs with a severe and unexplained symptom.
also, regardless of how long it has lasted, a stiff neck accompanied by any red flag symptoms—such as a fever, headache, nausea or vomiting, or unexplained sleepiness—should be seen by a medical professional immediately.
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