Arthritis In Neck

The neck is the most common part of the body for arthritis to develop. The most common form of arthritic condition is that which affects the neck is osteoarthritis. This arthritic condition is also known as cervical spondylosis, cervical osteoarthritis, or degenerative joint disease of the neck. Other types of arthritis that can affect the neck area are psoriatic, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, Reiter's disease, gout, pseudogout, and diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis or DISH.

Cervical spondylosis is an arthritic condition that mainly affects older people, usually over the age of 40. Men are said to be affected more often than women. This arthritic condition results from degenerative changes that occur in the cervical spine which is the spine in the neck. Changes in cartilage metabolic faction lead to slow wear and tear of discs and joints in the neck. The degenerative changes gradually can lead to a bulging or herniated disc, calcium build-up within the disc, or bony growths on the spine. The terminal result of the condition is nerve compression or inflammation; depending on which way the disc herniates or the direction of the bony growths, there is a fair possibility that the spinal cord or nerve roots leading from the spinal cord could be compressed.

There is also the worst possibility that the blood flow to certain nerves may be affected. Symptoms of the disorder depend on the location of the nerve compression, but can include numbness, pain, weakness, headaches, urinary problems, etc. Initially the sufferer may not have any symptoms. Others with the same condition will have neck or shoulder pain, headaches in the back of the head, or stiffness of the neck. The sufferers may have difficulty turning or bending their neck from side-to-side. Some people will have severe pain that shoots down a certain part of the arm. They may also notice weakness, numbness, or pain in the arm. One or both sides of the neck may be affected. Often this condition causes the hands to become clumsy.

Some people with such arthritic condition will have numbness or weakness in their legs. This condition indicates that there may be pressure on the spinal cord. This is considered to be a surgical emergency. Most of the peolpe with this condition will have lower vibration sense in their legs. These people may feel unsteady while walking. The fact is that spondylosis condition with myelopathy is a fairly common cause of unsteadiness in the elderly.

Other people will have a specific level on their chest or abdominal part where there is a noticeable change in sensation. Difficulties with urination may also occur. Some people will have to urinate more often than normal, while others will have to urinate urgently. A few people with the condition will develop urinary incontinence. The arthritic symptoms may get worse with turning, extending, or bending the neck. In other people straining or coughing may temporarily cause shooting pain in the arms or shoulders or it may worsen weakness in the legs. Physical examinations may reveal pain or numbness along a certain nerve distribution. Certain affected muscles may be weak and the reflexes not as brisk as normal.