Osteoarthtrits also known as “wear and tear”, is normally seen in the elderly but can develop in people aged over 35. Symptoms are typically pain and stiffness in the back in the morning and evenings, which improve through the day with movement and exercise.
Degeneration of the spine occurs when the articular cartilage in the facet joints deteriorate and the discs between the vertebrae dehydrate. This narrows the space between the joint surfaces placing them under more stress. As a result the body lays down new bone at the margins of the joints. These boney spurs fill the joint space and are the main cause for reduced, restricted movement and sometimes pain.
Unfortunately there is no cure for osteoarthritis, but the amount of osteoarthritis in a joint does not necessarily correlate with the severity of symptoms. This has been demonstrated by numerous x-ray investigations which have shown marked osteoarthritic changes within asymptomatic patients. Symptoms can be managed and relieved greatly by a number of treatment techniques and exercises.
Treatment for Neck Osteoarthritis / Wear and Tear
Physiotherapy treatment for patients with this condition is vital to hasten the healing process, ensure an optimal outcome and decrease the likelihood of injury recurrence. Treatment may comprise:
- Joint mobilisation
- Joint manipulation
- Spinal and pelvic realignment
- Dry needling /acupuncture
- Deep tissue massage/myofascial release
- Exercise programs to stretch, self treat and improve proprioception, balance, strength and core stability
- Biomechanical Assessment
- Neural mobilisation
- Education / training advise/ phased return to exercise
- Activity modification advice
- Ice or heat treatment
- Clinical Pilates
- Injection advice