How to Limit the Degeneration in your Neck and other Joints
Posted Nov 12 2009 12:00am
Degenerative Joint disease or DJD is the most common form of arthiritis in the neck. In fact the most common located for degenerative disc disease to occur is in the lower cervical spine at the C5, C6 level. Not only are there changes to the bones themselves (for example, the appearance of osteophytes), but there can be decrease in disc height. It is also known as Osteoarthritis***. Studies have shown that 70-90% of adults over 70 years of age have DJD.
What are the symptoms of the degeneration:
-an achy pain
-swelling of some joints
-Stiffness first thing in the morning, and when one has been inactive for awhile
-Cold and changes in barametric pressures can aggravate a person with DJD
-Decrease in muscle tone or atrophy seen in adjacent muscles.
-Limited range of motion. For example you have a difficult time turning your head to the right or to the left
Is arthritis in the neck a normal process of aging and should we all expect it when we turn 69? This is a common fear and frequently asked question. The answer is NO. Your body is going to see some obvious signs of wear and tear. But believe it not, there are things you can do to limit the degeneration in your spine. You can do things now to reduce the amount of degeneration in your neck. So what are 3 things that you can do now?
Maintain good posture of the spine. In the neck be careful of forward head posture. This puts a tremendous amount of pressure on the joints in the neck and upper back area, which can lead to faster degeneration in the spine.
Joint mobility is very important. Getting regular chiropractic adjustment in the neck and other decrease motion restriction in the spine and also help to correct misaglignments in the neck. Remember there are many different chiropractic techniques out there. Chiropractic treatment can also to help relax muscles around the neck and it overall improves the function of all muscles and joints. To help you hold your chiropractic adjustments having a proper arches in the feet through orthotics is also important. Finally, using a good neck pillow will help you hold your chiropractic adjustments for longer periods of time.
Maintain Muscle Tone. Your muscles are an important equation here. This can be achieved by doing regular exercise- both stretching and strengthening exercises are very important. Resistance training is also beneficial to maintain muscle tone.
What about other treatment options for osteoarthritis? Besides natural treatments for arthritis, there is always medical management route. This is not one option that I am in favor of. Drugs for arthritis are often for pain relief. Not only can there is be side effects, but it does not stop the progression of osteoarthritis.
*** Osteoarthritis is another name for degenerative joint disease. Technically, the name implies that this type of arthritis involves inflammation. This is not correct. In fact OA or DJD is a non-inflammatory type of arthritis.