What is it? Arthritis in the neck is a wear-and-tear neck condition resulting from years of minor trauma to the cervical spine and its structures. The severity of the ‘wear’ varies between individuals, but is almost always worse in those who have worked in a physically demanding occupation for many years, such as construction.
Statistics: According to the Arthritis Foundation in 2007: 2/3rds of people who have been diagnosed with the disease are under 65.As long ago as 2003 9,500 Americans DIED because of arthritis. Almost 19 million Americans have to stop working within 10 years of being diagnosed. A shocking 294,000 children have been diagnosed with juvenile arthritis. The cost of all this is 8 billion per year
Important Facts: In fact, arthritis is the number one cause of disability.
The most common type of arthritis that affects the neck is osteoarthritis. This condition is also known as cervical spondylosis, cervical osteoarthritis, or degenerative joint disease of the neck.
Pain is not always limited to the neck area; it can spread to areas such as the upper back, shoulder blades, chest wall, arms, and the head. Patients with cervical arthritis may also experience neurological signs.
Treatment Duration: There are a multitude of treatment modalities ranging from rest to surgery depending on the severity of the symptoms and the underlying cause that is identified. A majority of cases cervical arthritis respond to exercises.
Do’s/Don’ts: To reduce arthritis neck pain the first thing you can do is stop doing nothing and do something. However, you can’t just do whatever you want either. There are specific exercises or physical therapies that help get range of motion back and relieve stiffness and pain. Make an appointment with a physical therapist and learn how to do the exercises properly then do them at home as the therapist specifies.
Use hydrotherapy, which is a combination of water, heat and air. It’s amazing what a good hot tub will do to relieve arthritis neck pain. The water reduces body weight to almost nothing taking off pressure and the action of the air and water work together to massage it.
Common Myths: Medical research conducted in the past few decades also indicate, that people who are on an unceasing spree of cracking neck, are at a greater risk of suffering a stroke, showcasing either transient ischemic attack (TIA) symptoms or those of a fatal one. This is primarily due to the fact that constant cracking neck tendencies lead to the wear and tear of the arteries that pass through the neck to the brain. Due this corrosion, the lining of the artery starts to bleed internally, amounting to fatal blood clotting and thus, leading to a stroke among people below the age barrier of 55.
So, is cracking neck safe? Evidently no!