Cervical spondylosis as a common disease is closely related to our normal life. As the most flexible part of the entire spine, the speed of cervical spine’s degradation is also the fastest. It’s reported that about two thirds of the population have neck pain at some time in their lives, and prevalence is highest in middle age.
Cervical spondylosis is also called cervical osteoarthritis. It is a condition involving changes to the bones, discs, and joints of the neck. These changes are caused by the normal wear-and-tear of aging. With age, the discs of the cervical spine gradually break down, lose fluid, and become stiffer. Cervical spondylosis usually occurs in middle-aged and elderly people.
As you age, the bones and cartilage that make up your backbone and neck gradually develop wear and tear. The risk factors of cervical spondylosis as below:
- Incorrect sitting position for those jobs that involve repetitive neck motions, especially for office workers and drivers.
- Starring at cellphone for a long time.
- Low room temperature by air conditioner in summer: The muscle around neck suffering from the cold temperature may cause cervical spondylosis.
- Stay up late: People get used to staying up late at night are easy to get cervical spondylosis. Due to the short sleeping time, the cervical spine doesn’t have much time to recover from the daily work. As the time goes by, it will cause cervical spondylosis.
What are the symptoms of cervical spondylosis?
When symptoms of cervical spondylosis occur, people may feel:
1. Pain from the different areas.
Pain is the basic symptom of cervical spondylosis. Almost all kinds of cervical spondylosis have very significant pain symptoms in the early or full course. The pain can occur in the neck and shoulders. There is a survey to the cervical spondylosis patients that 92% of patients suffer the pain from neck, 71% of patients suffer from shoulder, 44% of patients suffer from the upper arm, forearm pain in 31%, and headache in 37%.
The patient has an illusion of self or surrounding scenery, the body is unstable, and the object is tilted, sagged, etc. It is often induced when changing posture, head flexion or rotation. The onset time can be very short and it can last for hours or longer. Dizziness may be accompanied by tinnitus, nausea and vomiting, cold sweats, palpitation, palpitations, cold extremities and other symptoms. Some patients feel dizzy and sleepy.
A study found that more than 95% of patients with first cervical vertebrae (atlantoaxial joint) disorder had dizziness with different severity, 70% of unexplained dizziness was closely related to atlantoaxial joint disorder, and more than 50% of patients with dizziness were accompanied by vision or hearing impairment. Therefore, it is believed that atlantoaxial joint disorder is one of the main factors causing vertigo.
3. Sore throat
It mainly happens on the pharyngeal (esophageal) cervical spondylosis patients, which can easily be misdiagnosed as chronic pharyngitis, esophageal cancer or neurosis. The misdiagnosis rate before diagnosis is as high as 80-90%. The patients with cervical spondylosis at the early or attack stage usually have symptoms of throat swelling and pain, especially in young and middle-aged patients.
4. Palpitation and insomnia
When the sympathetic ganglion is under pressure, tachycardia, blurred vision, drowsiness, epilepsy, stubborn insomnia (difficulty falling asleep or waking dreams, drowsiness during the day, mental exhaustion, easy to sleep, in bed but clear-headed, no sleepiness) and other symptoms occur.
How to alleviate cervical spondylosis by yourself?
- Using a suitable pillow is good for alleviating cervical spondylosis. The pillow should be relatively lower in the middle area.
- Having a regularly short break while working and remember to adjust the sitting position.
- Strengthen exercise and get rid of unhealthy lifestyle like staying up late, smoking.
- Keep up a good mood to life.
In modern times, people are busy with their works and pay little attention to the diseases that are relatively insignificant to the health, like cervical spondylosis. However, the more we learned how to alleviate it by ourselves, the less pain we would suffer in the future.
Caroline Liu contributes to content on topics such as common human diseases. Her articles are aimed to help people live better. She works at Cusabio, a biotech company that serves the life sciences research fields. The main goal of Cusabio is to provide high-quality polyclonal antibodies, monoclonal antibodies, recombinant proteins, enzymes, cytokines, Elisa kits, cDNA clones, various custom services, and many other reagents and services for researchers and scientists engaged in biology and medicine areas, such as molecular biology, immunity, genetics, etc.