The part of the spine that makes up the neck is called the Cervical Spine and spondylosis is a different word for wear and tear, which is sometimes also referred to as osteoarthritis. Cervical spondylosis therefore translates into: wear and tear of the neck.
The neck is made up of 7 vertebrae (bones) stacked up on top of each other with the disc sitting in the gaps between them. The discs act as a shock absorbers between the bones in the neck. In cervical disk degeneration (which typically occurs in people age 40 years and older), the normal gelatin-like centre of the disc degenerates and the space between the vertebrae gets smaller. As the disc space narrows, added stress is applied to the joints of the spine causing further wear and degenerative disease. Also the edges of the vertebrae often develop small, rough areas of bone called osteophytes.
In many people, the degeneration does not cause any symptoms other than reduced range of motion/stiffness. For example, routine X-rays of the neck will show these features (osteophytes and disc thinning) in many people who do not have any symptoms.
However, some people experience a constant nagging kind of pain in the neck while others get severe sharp shooting pain from the associated nearby muscles, ligaments, or nerves. In severe cases, the degeneration may cause irritation or pressure on the spinal nerve roots which can give rise to severe arm pain, tingling and even numbness. Occasionally irritation to the spinal cord can also occur.
Chiropractic Care treats the underlying cause of the pain, not just the pain itself (like painkillers). Chiropractors are trained to relieve the pain, improve joint function and reduce muscle spasm through natural therapies, such as chiropractic manipulation or mobilisation, trigger-point therapy, stretching or some massage techniques. We will also help you choose the exercises that are best for you, give you ergonomic advice and we may recommend supplements for your joints and general well-being.