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Cervical spinal disc disease

Cervical Spine Disease is the most common cause of neck pain and radiating pain in the arms. Human Spine (more commonly known as, Backbone) comprises of 33 interlocking bones called Vertebrae and is divided further into 5 segments – Cervical (neck), Thoracic (upper & middle back), Lumbar (lower back), Sacrum (pelvis), and Coccyx (tailbone). Cervical spine consists of 7 vertebrae: C1, C2, C3, C4, C5, C6 and C7. This group of seven bones attach our skull to the start of our back. They protect and hold spinal cord, allow flow of blood to the brain and strongly support and allow head movement.

Cervical Spine Disease broadly refers to disorders associated with the bones, muscles, ligaments and joints of cervical spine. These supportive structures of the cervical spine are subject to repeated injury and degeneration as a result of aging, stress, trauma and workout or sports activities.

Various Categories of Cervical Spine Disease

  • Cervical Stenosis - The term ‘stenosis’ refers to an abnormal narrowing of a body canal. Due to degeneration of tissues, vertebrae tends to become weak and thin, thus making the spinal canal thinner. This leads to pinched nerve causing neck pain and stiffness, muscle spasms, arm pain and feeling of weakness in the hands.
  • Cervical Fracture- It is aninjury or breakage in one or more of the cervical vertebrae. This kind of trauma mostly occurs during accidents or sports injuries and can potentially affect the normal functioning of neck, arms and shoulders.
  • Cervical Kyphosis – The normal structure/shape of cervical spine is slightly forwarded curve when viewed from the side. But Cervical Kyphosis is a condition in which the normal curve just reverses. It could either be a birth defect or result of some trauma or degenerative disc disease.

Warning Signs & Symptoms of Cervical Spine Disease

Following are the indicative signs & symptoms of Cervical Spine disorder:

  • Numbness due to pinched nerve.
  • Weakness and pain due to compression of nerves around the cervical spine.
  • Persistent neck and arm pain and stiffness accompanied by headache.
  • Difficulty in walking, balancing and maintaining correct posture.
  • In some cases, there is also loss of bowel and bladder control.
  • Tingling sensation that radiates towards the arm and fingers. This causes difficulty in daily life activities as well.
  • Pain that alleviates upon taking rest, but aggravates while movement.

Treatment for Cervical Spine Disease

Cervical diseases can be taken care of through one or more of the following treatment options:

  • Medical Management through pain medication and injections such as epidural steroid injection or cervical facet injection that are injected directly to specific parts of the neck.
  • Hot and Cold Therapy in which a heated gel pack or ice pack is applied at the affected area to provide pain relief.
  • Lifestyle Changes are also suggested for relief from mild pain. Activities like maintaining correct posture, taking healthy diet, remaining hydrated and quitting smoking help in getting rid of pain.
  • Physical Therapy significantly helps in increasing the flexibility and strength of cervical spine and thus lower the risk of pain and degeneration.
  • Surgical Intervention – Chronic pain that does not go away with other treatment options is eventually managed through surgical interventions like ACDF (Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusionor Cervical Artificial Disc Replacement.
  • Alternative Therapies like chiropractic manipulation of the cervical spine, acupuncture, bracing and electric stimulation through TENS also substantially helps in treating cervical spine disease.

Consultation With Best Cervical Specialist In Delhi.

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