Diagnosis and Management of Cervical Spondylosis Treatment & Pain Management

Cervical spondylosis is a common degenerative condition of the cervical spine. It is most likely caused by age-related changes in the intervertebral disks. Clinically, several syndromes, both overlapping and distinct, are seen. These include neck and shoulder pain, suboccipital pain and headache, radicular symptoms, and cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM). As disk degeneration occurs, mechanical stresses result in osteophytic bars, which form along the ventral aspect of the spinal canal.

Medical treatments for cervical spondylosis include neck immobilization, pharmacologic treatments, lifestyle modifications, and physical modalities (eg, traction, manipulation, exercises). No carefully controlled trials have compared these modalities; therefore, these therapies are often initiated based on a clinician’s preference or specialty.

Other commonly used modalities for pain include heat, cold, acupuncture, massage, trigger-point injection, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, and low-power cold laser. Most of the passive modalities used for degenerative disease of the cervical spine are performed by physical therapists and are most efficacious in combination. Exercises designed for cervical pain include isometric neck strengthening routines, neck and shoulder stretching and flexibility exercises, back strengthening exercises, and aerobic exercises.

Read the full treatment discussion writeup here: http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1144952-treatment

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