Neck pain has become a common nuisance, experienced by most of us at some point in our lives. It is an age-related problem, mostly seen among middle aged people. This condition is present in more than 85 percent of people over the age of 60. A modern lifestyle is synonymous for this incremental rise. Longer working hours coupled with lack of both exercise and rest causes people to suffer from neck pain at a much younger age. Many of these neck pain cases are due to cervical spondylosis, a degenerative condition which occurs due to the wear and tear of the cartilages and bones of the cervical spine aka neck. It also goes by cervical osteoarthritis or neck arthritis.
For managing cervical spondylosis, you can perform exercises and stretches that focus on keeping your neck mobile. Surgery may be necessary for a patient suffering from cervical osteoarthritis if he/she has severe pain that does not improve from other conservative treatments. It should be the last resort as there is always a risk factor involved. Before it worsens, it is always a good idea to start physiotherapy treatment.
Physiotherapy treatment for cervical spondylosis
There is no cure for cervical spondylosis, but physiotherapy can help treat its symptoms. If you have chronic pain in your neck, shoulder blades or arms, a physiotherapist can provide effective pain relief by strengthening your vertebrae and neck. This will improve your posture and prevent any relapse of the pain.
Some common treatments provided by physiotherapists are:
Heat and ice packs are easily available and in combination, they help reduce muscle spasm and inflammation. The two can also be alternatively. Their application is usually 10-20 minutes once every two hours and are more useful in the early stages of cervical pain.
Electrotherapy involves transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator (TENS) unit. It makes use of electronic vibration to modulate the pain by overriding the signals going to the brain. A trial of electrotherapy with the TENS unit usually reveals if the patient experiences substantial pain relief. Post that, a physiotherapist may employ a TENS unit at home for pain relief on a long-term basis.
This therapy is a form of deep heating in which sound waves penetrate into the soft tissues of the skin. Ultrasound is especially useful in relieving acute episodes of pain and may enhance tissue healing.
Static Contractions and Strengthening Exercises
These set of exercises focus on physiotherapist and patient exerting equal amounts of pressure so that static, non-dynamic action takes place in the cervical muscles. The pressure is applied by the physiotherapist or by the patient after understanding of the technique.
Usage of a float support lying in warm water is best for total relaxation and hence gain relief of muscle spasm. Hydrotherapy refers to using buoyancy of water for medical and relaxing treatments. The therapy is renowned for improving balance and coordination. The benefits of “water healing” have been recognized for thousands of years and mentioned in Ayurveda texts.
As the condition progresses, the abnormality of posture also increases. Thus from the initial stage itself, physiotherapist initiates and plans postural awareness through proper advice and education.
Support for the neck is crucial to keep the neck steady and facilitate pain relief. A firm neck collar is extremely beneficial during any physical activity or while travelling. When the patient is resting or sitting, the collar should be removed but then too, the neck should be provided support by a neck pillow or a head rest.
Various relaxation techniques are during rest, work or play help tide through the discomfort and uneasiness that comes with cervical pain. When lying on the bed, one should loosen entire body and stretch. Whilst relaxing, take full support of pillows for the body.
Physiotherapy at home has helped many patients recover from chronic pain as a result of cervical spondylosis and improve their mobility worldwide. It can be the right treatment for someone you know a well. Add to that, it entails no trauma that comes with surgery. Share the benefits of physiotherapy with your friends and family with the help of Healthcare at HOME.
For a FREE teleconsultation, contact us at our Physiotherapy helpline at 0120-6783277. You may also reach out to us at our toll free number 1800-102-4224.