Cervical spondylosis is a chronic degeneration of the vertebrae and discs of the neck. Bone spurs, or osteophytes, are bony projections that form along joints and are often associated with arthritis. Such spurs can rub against nearby nerves or occasionally on the spinal cord, causing pain and limitation in joint motion. The degeneration results from wear on the bones of the cervical spine over time.
Aging, repetitive stress on joints, reduced flexibility of ligaments, and tissue inflammation can cause discs to degenerate and become drier and less elastic. Such degeneration may cause discs to bulge and, in some cases, rupture. To adjust to the stress of excessive physical force, the vertebrae may develop bone spurs, which are new growths of bone along the margins of existing bones.
Typical complaints are neck pain radiating to shoulders and arms, loss of balance, tingling sensation, burning sensation, weakness or numbness in the arm or hands, and headaches radiating to the back of the head.
Cervical spondylosis is a common cause of spinal cord dysfunction in older adults. If the condition is not properly treated, the injury may progress and become permanent. Bone spurs and herniated discs can impinge and put pressure on the roots of one or more nerves of the cervical spinal cord.
Dry needling acupuncture is very helpful for cervical spondylosis in mild to moderate cases, although long-term treatment is required in many cases. Treatment follows the same protocol as for other neck problems and should consist of both specific and nonspecific approaches. Two treatment sessions per week should be sufficient.
Preventive treatment to reduce stress, pain, and inflammation in the neck is highly recommended for all athletes in order to avoid the development of cervical spondylosis. During the asymptomatic stage, one session per week is recommended.
SPORTS INJURIES OF THE UPPER LIMB
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