Cervical spondylosis is a degenerative condition affecting the vertebral discs and joints in your neck. It is commonly called "arthritis of the neck" as the symptoms are similar to those of arthritis. There is no absolute cure for this condition, but there are things you can do to manage the pain and help prevent the condition from worsening. Seeing the chiropractor, in particular, can be really helpful. Here are some of the ways a chiropractor can help manage cervical spondylosis.
Spinal adjustments are the backbone of chiropractic care. Basically, your chiropractor will apply pressure to certain points along your neck and back in order to change the way your vertebrae are resting against one another. They will do so with the aim of taking some pressure off the vertebrae that are affected by cervical spondylosis. They'll aim to create a little more space between the damaged vertebrae so they do not rub against one another so severely. An adjustment should not hurt, although you might hear some pretty loud cracking sounds while your chiropractor is working. Your neck should immediately feel looser and more comfortable, and your range of motion should be increased.
TENS stands for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. It involves using a special device to deliver electrical impulses through the skin and into the muscle. These impulses will cause the muscles in the neck to contract and relax repeatedly. While this will not cure your cervical spondylosis, it will help relax the muscles that can become tight as a result of the condition. TENS treatment only takes a few minutes, and if you find that it's really helpful for you, then your chiropractor may prescribe you a TENS device to use at home. You can use it whenever your neck starts to feel overly tight and painful.
Your chiropractor may also hold a heating pad against your neck. This sounds very simple, but while they are applying the heating pad, they will also move and stretch your neck in certain ways. This movement should help drain away any inflammation and restore flexibility, which will make your neck more comfortable in the days that follow. You can use a heating pad at home for relief, too, although you will only want a chiropractor to perform stretching exercises. Someone without proper training could do more harm than good when trying to stretch your neck during heat application.
Cervical spondylosis can be painful and debilitating, but a chiropractor can help keep you comfortable by using the treatments above. For more information about treatments for neck pain, contact a local chiropractor, like Eric Schmetterling DC.