Arthritis Neck Pain – Overview and Treatment

Janice CarsonJanice Carson

Although all forms of arthritis are painful, arthritis neck pain can be particularly hard to endure. Two types of arthritis generally cause arthritis neck pain: rheumatoid arthritis and cervical spondylosis. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder in which your body attacks the joints. While most people with rheumatoid arthritis experience finger and joint pain, RA can also cause arthritis neck pain. Cervical spondylosis is actually a form of the more common osteoarthritis, a degenerative condition in which cartilage breaks down due to wear and tear. If you have cervical spondylosis, however, you might also experience muscle spasms, numbness in your arms, weakness, and fatigue. These painful conditions can be difficult to live with, but there are treatments that can help.

arthritis neck painBefore determining the best arthritis neck pain treatment, you will need to get a diagnosis from your doctor. Both rheumatoid arthritis and cervical spondylosis can be treated with various drugs, but other methods may vary. Doctors will usually prescribe some sort of NSAID (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug) or analgesic to relieve arthritis neck pain. NSAIDs, including Aleve, Aspirin, and Tylenol, reduce inflammation in addition to providing much-needed pain relief. Analgesics are available in both narcotic and non-narcotic forms. Narcotics include addictive painkillers such as Codeine, Morphine, and Vicodin. Non-narcotics include Tylenol and other mild painkillers.

If your arthritis neck pain is caused by cervical spondylosis, you may need to wear a cervical collar or brace to restrict movement. Other options include strengthening or stretching exercises. Improving your posture might also help relieve arthritis neck pain. Cervical spondylosis rarely requires surgery, but if nothing else works, you might need to consider surgery as an option. The necessary surgical procedure will relieve pressure on your neck and correct herniated disks.

Both types of arthritis can benefit from several do-it-yourself arthritis neck pain treatments. Warm baths and compresses might relieve arthritis neck pain. If heat doesn’t work, try cold compresses instead. Cold numbs the nerves, restricts blood flow, reduces inflammation, and blocks pain signals. Exercise might also reduce arthritis neck pain by strengthening your muscles, reducing stress, and improving your overall health. Make sure to talk to a doctor if you start a new exercise program. Some types of exercise might put too much stress on your joints, so avoid running if at all possible. Swimming is a wonderful exercise because you can improve muscle tone without aggravating arthritis neck pain. These treatment methods should help you live a healthy, normal life.