If you are over 55, you are probably well aware that no matter how hard you work out, your age is catching up with you.
One of the most common aging processes to affect those over 55 is cervical spondylosis. This condition occurs when two separate actions take part in your cervical spine: the first is an enlargement of your vertebrae as bone spurs form and the second is the dehydration and calcification of the invertebral discs that serve as a cushion between those vertebrae.
When these two things are happening at the same time, it puts pressure on the nerves that run through the cervical spinal canal, and this can lead to a series of uncomfortable and painful conditions, including sensory changes, generalized weakness, atrophy of the fatty part of the hand below the hand, and more.
One of the most common symptoms of cervical spondylosis is a chronic headache known as a cervicogenic headache. A cervicogenic headache is a symptom of secondary disease, usually a neuromusculoskeletal issue involving the top three cervical segments.
Unfortunately, patients who complain of this type of headache are rarely tested for cervical spondylosis. This is partially because the condition itself is so common among the elderly that many physicians simply wave it of as arthritis, but because the condition involves a crowding and compressions of the nerves, it should be treated differently (and unlike arthritis, relief is available).
If you are experiencing chronic headaches and suspect that cervical spondylosis is behind them, your best approach is to seek medical help from our cervical spine specialist in New Jersey. There are several different approaches to confirming this diagnosis, including MRI, CT scans or X-rays which will identify loss of disc height and the formation of bone spurs, as well as the presence of other symptoms which are mechanical in nature and which get worse with activity.
Treatment of cervical spondylosis is best pursued early in the condition’s progression, as the worse the deterioration gets, the less the chance of full recovery. Medical treatment can include the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants and other medications, as well as physical therapy.
If these conservative approaches do not work, then surgery may be recommended. Minimally invasive surgery for cervical spondylosis aims to restore lost function and stop further deterioration. Surgery may consist of decompression through a cervical discectomy followed by spinal fusion, but the only way to be certain of the proper procedure for your condition is to get a comprehensive examination and diagnosis from an experienced spine surgeon.
If you have been experiencing chronic headaches and suspect that they are caused by deterioration in your neck, we strongly recommend that you seek consultation with our cervical spine specialist in New Jersey. Contact us today to set up a time for an appointment.