Hey El Paso!
I’m Dr. David from El Paso Manual Physical Therapy.
I got a question from a client recently.
She asked, “Does neck arthritis go away?”
This client had just started treatment for some stiffness in her neck.
She can turn all the way to the left just fine but to the right, she’s very stuck and she’s had this problem going on for years.
It’s just gotten a lot worse recently and it’s starting to keep her up at night, she can’t sleep because of the neck problem.
What I told her was “There will always be signs of arthritis visible on the MRI or an x-ray, that’s what the research is telling us, but your neck problem can get better”.
She will be able to turn all the way left and right and be able to sleep better once we get through the rest of the treatment plan.
I figured many of you guys had this question as well so I wanted to share with you the top three ways to manage neck arthritis on your own.
#1 – Avoid stretching.
So many people that have neck problems come in telling us that they do this stretch or this or they turn their head, all the way one way or the other.
It might feel good in the short term but if you’ve got neck arthritis, the joints that are stuck with arthritis don’t move very much.
When you stretch and turn all the way, the joints that can move are actually loosening up too much so it’s causing a problem with those joints that can move -> you’re over-stretching those joints so avoid stretching.
#2 – Avoid Being Still
Avoid being still for more than 15 minutes at a time… and I’m talking about your neck specifically.
Many of the people that come in with neck problems have desk jobs and they’re at the computer for hours at a time.
They may start the day at 8am or 9 am and not stop working at the computer until lunch time and then after lunch keep going until the end of the day so they don’t get a whole lot of neck movement.
It’s necessary to build in breaks every fifteen minutes or so to just walk around, move around, turn your head, do some movements without stretching and that will keep your neck loose so that the joints aren’t stiffening up and causing pain later on.
#3 Strengthen your upper body.
I can’t stress enough how many times I find people that have neck problems also have very weak muscles up here, muscles up here and generally in the entire upper body, people tend to be weak.
If you’ve tried to exercise and it causes more neck problems, it’s likely not that the exercise is hurting your neck problems…..it’s the way that you’re doing it.
You might need some special help to make sure that you’re doing the right exercises in the right way so that you can make your neck problem better for the long term.
Guys, I hope this helps you out.
If you’ve got any questions, you can ask us here.
You can direct message us, we’ll be happy to answer them online.
And of course, you can always call us if you’ve got more questions.
Have a wonderful day!