Here’s another blog from a Mississauga Chiropractor…
Cervical Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD) is the progressive loss of cartilage causing joint space narrowing, subchondral sclerosis and osteophyte formation. This most commonly occurs at C5-C6 & C6-C7.
- Primary: Abnormal biomechanics, genetic predisposition, metabolic causes,occupational
- Secondary: Childhood anatomic abnormalities, joint trauma or fracture, repetitive action or joint motion
- Slowly developing dull achy neck pain
- Chronic recurrent neck pain
- Morning stiffness & pain
- Decreased neck range of motion
Note: There is an extremely poor correlation between the degree of radiographic evidence of degeneration & the clinical presentation of the patient’s pain. Many patients will have moderate degenerative changes visible on x-ray but experience no pain.
Common X-ray Findings for DJD of the Cervical Spine:
- Signs are worst at C3-C4 levels
- Decreased disc height & osteophyte formation
- Relative sclerosis
- Loss of cervical curve
- Rest in a position that minimizes symptoms. Ice in acute cases
- Heat – most patients respond extremely well to heat. Hot packs in the office or hot baths/hot-tubs
- Joint mobilizations or adjustments to the cervical spine. This will improve joint mobility and relieve some pain.
- Traction of the neck will unload the joints of the cervical spine
- Active Release Technique; relaxation massages,trigger point therapy
- Electrotherapy modalities: IFC (interferential current), TENS,microcurrent, ultrasound
- Range of motion exercises
- Postural retraining & sleeping position evaluations
- Fair to good for some symptomatic relief
- There is no cure, but the primary focus of the treatment is to manage the symptoms and improve biomechanics