Arthritic Neck?

Dear Medical Solution Ministries,

I was told that I have arthritis in my neck, and was not told how this got there. I am only 30 years old. Isn’t this a little young for arthritis? Is there anything I can do prevent this from getting worse?

Answer: Without examining you first hand, we can only speak in generalities, since there are over 100 different kinds of arthritis. One of the most common types of arthritis in the neck is osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease. We see this on a daily basis in our office. This type of arthritis is when the pads or discs between the vertebra wear down and the vertebra are approximated. This condition is usually not usually acquired by heredity but rather by the following reasons:

1. Trauma

2. Long term immobility of a spinal segment.

3. Improper rehabilitation after an injury.

When the spine is traumatized, such as in a whiplash injury, if expedient or proper care is not rendered, often times the disc will degenerate and form osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease. This phenomenon is not only commonly found in the neck but is common in other spinal regions as well. Many times, several years following a whiplash injury osteoarthritis is evident in the cervical spine (neck). This is one reason why it is vitally important for a person to have expedient Chiropractic care following a spinal injury such as this.

Often times a patient will sustain a seemingly insignificant injury after a accident, but if a spinal segment is not moving properly this could start a cascade of degeneration which could spread to other segments. This could be compared to a person who has their arm in a cast. If the arm is immobilized for 2-3 weeks, the muscles atrophy. When the discs or cartilage between the vertebra begin to atrophy , this is known as osteoarthritis.

Even when a person has not suffered from a whiplash injury, from a preventative standpoint, routine chiropractic treatments
mobilize joints and minimizes wear and tear in spinal segments. Patients who are on wellness programs / preventative care will usually minimize these changes and are able stay more active in their latter years of life.

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