How to relieve arthritis neck pain? Arthritis is a disorder that causes joints to swell and become painful. The inflammation and rigidity interfere with the daily routine of the individual.
Although the disorder primarily occurs in the old age group, young ones are also affected.
There are almost 100 types of arthritis that are known, but the frequently occurring types include:
- Psoriatic Arthritis.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis cause neck pain.
Arthritis is a frequently-occurring disease. It is incurable, but proper treatment can help tackle the disease and prevent the condition from worsening.
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What Arthritis Cause Neck Pain?
Arthritis is far more than swollen and painful knees, hands, or feet. The symptoms are different according to the type and the patient’s condition. Neck pain is also one of the symptoms of arthritis and is mainly linked with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
The pain and tenderness in the neck is the first indicator that you might have the disease. In osteoarthritis, along with other cartilage (soft connective tissue) between the vertebrae of the neck degenerates with the passing time or due to any injury. This breakdown will lead to vertebrae rubbing against each other, which causes tiny pieces of bones to tear off.
As a result, the bone tries to fix the damage, which sometimes starts the formation of small bony pieces at the ends of the bone or joint. These little bony projections are called bone spurs, also called osteophytes.
In rheumatoid arthritis, the body’s immune system starts to invade its tissues, which causes swelling in the joint’s lining. The swelling leads to the distortion of joints and can also cause damage to other body organs.
Symptoms Of Arthritis Neck Pain:
Symptoms vary in different people, but tenderness and pain in the neck are joint. The pain may be very mild to severe, and if the condition goes unchecked, it can worsen with time. Plus, prolonged movement of the neck can also increase pain.
- Grating sounds of vertebrae while moving the neck can also be heard.
- In addition, headaches and convulsions in the neck and shoulder muscles are observed.
- If bone spurs or osteophytes are formed, they often exert pressure on the nearby tissues and nerves, making the affected area painful.
- Also, the surrounding muscles become weak due to this pressure, and loss of coordination occurs. These factors lead to the numbness of the shoulder and arm muscles.
Risk Factors Of Arthritis Neck Pain:
The essential factor of neck pain due to arthritis is age. With the passing years of life, the flexible connective tissue, i.e., cartilage, is degraded between the neck’s vertebrae.
Due to this, the space between vertebrae is reduced, which puts pressure on the surrounding nerves causing pain.
Bone spurs development also significantly increases this pain. In addition to these, family history also plays a vital role in determining arthritis or neck pain. Research has shown that intake of nicotine can also contribute to this.
Furthermore, the nature of the job is also an important point to notice. Individuals whose occupation includes repeated neck motions are more likely to get the disease. It is also seen that people going through depression are more vulnerable to it.
Moreover, any neck trauma or injury due to an accident also increases the risk of arthritis and neck pain.
How To Treat Arthritis Neck Pain?
Arthritis pain is usually not curable, but there are many medicines and simple home remedies that can help manage the disease.
- Different analgesic drugs are available in the market that can relieve pain.
- In addition, NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and DMARDs (disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs) are used to treat arthritis pain in the neck.
- Regular exercise and physical therapy can also bring favorable outcomes.
These drugs can work on moderate pain. The most common and typical analgesic drug to relieve the pain of arthritis in the neck is Acetaminophen. It is readily available over-the-counter medicine.
The dose should be taken on the doctor’s recommendation because excessive use of Acetaminophen can damage the liver. Plus, alcohol consumption should be reduced while taking this medicine to save your liver.
Nsaids (Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs):
Several NSAIDs like Celecoxib, Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Diclofenac potassium, etc., are available. These NSAIDs work on the principle that they inhibit the action of the enzymes cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), both are involved in the production of prostaglandins which mediate inflammation and pain.
Although their availability is over-the-counter, they should be used carefully because every NSAID has some side effects which can be avoided by consuming the medicine as prescribed.
DMARD (Disease-modifying Antirheumatic Drug):
Among the best medicines for treating neck pain due to inflammation is DMARD. Methotrexate is a very effective drug belonging to this class.
The mechanism of action is adenosine signaling. This mechanism suggests that intake of methotrexate increases adenosine nucleotides level. They then attach to the extracellular receptors, reducing intracellular inflammation.
Steroid injections are used nowadays to get short-term relief from neck pain. It takes almost seven days to start their work, and their effect lasts for almost two months. They are injected into the spinal cord, covering space or the facet joint.
These steroid injections can get over the inflammation and minimizes the pain.
Doctors also suggest physical therapy to treat neck pain due to arthritis. The number and time of sessions depend upon the condition of the patient. Exercises for strengthening and reducing the numbness of muscles are included in the sessions.
At first, it seems like the exercises like stretching and those involving motion are painful, but in the long term, they effectively minimize the pain.
Also, you have to check out my post on What Is Bacterial Arthritis?
Although it is not possible to get rid of arthritis and neck pain, you can manage the symptoms and degeneration of joints by adopting some simple changes.
- Using ice bags can help reduce inflammation and rigidity. It would be best if you kept a proper posture while sitting and lying.
- The best posture while sitting is when your ears lie straight above the shoulders. Smoking and alcohol consumption must be minimized to get relief.
Neck pain is the first symptom that arthritis is trying to get a hold of your body. Early diagnosis and medication can help a lot in tackling the issue.