Arthritis and Stenosis

February 11th, 2016

What is Arthritis and Stenosis?
As we age, we use our neck joints and muscles thousands of times a day. This wear and tear over time can lead to bony changes in the joints and bones (vertebrae) of the neck. These bony changes, along with poor posture, cause spurs of bone that can rub and irritate the surrounding tissue.

When the spurs protrude in the holes on the side of the neck where the nerves exit out (foramen), or the central spinal cord canal, this is called spinal stenosis. Spinal stenosis can be central stenosis or foramenal stenosis. It can cause a variety of symptoms, from chronic pain, to numbness and tingling into the arms. In severe cases of central canal stenosis, which affects the spinal cord, poor balance, pain in the legs and difficulty with walking can occur.

People with osteoarthritis in the neck can experience chronic pain, stiffness and limited range of motion with turning their head and looking up. Pain may be worse in the morning or after prolonged sitting.

People with rheumatoid arthritis can suffer with neck pain. It is very important for people with rheumatoid arthritis to maintain strength in their shoulder, neck and postural muscles. This is because a very important ligament in the upper neck often weakens with rheumatoid arthritis and can be a serious health risk if injured.

How physical therapy helps
Physical therapy is very important for neck arthritis. Our physical therapists assess your range of motion, joint mobility, strength and posture. From there, we determine the best plan of treatment, which may involve gentle hands on therapy to restore joint range of motion, massage to improve muscle mobility, strengthening, range of motion exercises and postural re–training.

Our physical therapists work with you and your physician to restore natural movement, eliminate pain and get you back to enjoying your normal activities. Call us today to discover how we can help relieve your neck pain quickly!

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