Upper spinal arthritis or cervical spondylosis is caused by the chronic wearing of the cervical spine. This kind of disease causes a lot of significant muscular and neurological symptoms of pain in the upper body. This happens when there is a breakdown of cartilage and abnormal formation of bone growth in the upper part of the spine. These changes in the spinal structure can cause a compression of the different nerves in the back and the nerves that extend to the arms. In severe cases, the spinal cord may also be affected and this ca not only extends to the arms but to the legs as well.
Upper spinal arthritis often happens to people who are very active in sports or in work, but the major cause of this disease is aging. When men and women reach the age of 60, X-ray results will often show the presence of cervical spondylosis. Also, factors like lack of exercise, obesity, heavy lifting, past neck injury, past spine injury, ruptured disk, severe arthritis, and small fractures in the spine, can also be seen as reasons for having per spinal arthritis
When you experience upper spinal arthritis, there are basically two types of pain that you can experience. The first one is the pain located in the neck part. Usually, this is because of the abnormal bone growth and damaged cartilage that affect surrounding nerves. The neck pain can cause headache, tenderness in the neck, and difficulty of neck movement. The second kind of pain is the pain that comes from the neck and runs down the arms. This happens because the nerves that sense pain are irritated by bone spurs in the neck.
Symptoms of upper spinal arthritis often develop gradually. But, they may get worse all of a sudden. Sometimes, the pain may be mild or sometimes severe which causes immobility. The pain may be felt over the shoulders and then spread to the upper arms, forearms, and at rare times may affect the fingers. The pain may get worse after standing or sitting at a long time, at night, when you sneeze, cough, or even laugh, and when bending the neck backwards.
Weakness in certain muscles may also be felt. In some cases, this can be noticed when you are lifting your arm, squeezing tightly with your hand, and even sometimes this symptom will be left unnoticed until the sickness is diagnosed by the doctor.
Other symptoms include neck stiffness that gets worse over time, abnormal sensations in the arms and shoulders, loss of balance, and loss of control over the bladder and bowels.
Degeneration of the cervical vertebrae can produce several different conditions affecting the spinal cord and nerve roots. If you experience these symptoms, it is best to consult the doctor to have a proper diagnosis. After this, the doctor may run different examinations and recommend medications and treatment for upper spinal arthritis. Doctors would commonly recommend patients to undergo physical therapy massage therapy, or acupuncture. There are also a number of medications to treat arthritis pain. However, if the pain does not subside, surgery is considered.