Neck arthritis is a major concern for adults as they age. The range of issues caused by neck arthritis can range from annoying soreness to a sharp pain running down the arm. A quick google search for the best treatments for arthritis in the neck bring up articles suggesting pills, injections or surgery. While these can all help to manage symptoms of arthritis in the neck they won’t do anything to prevent your arthritis from getting worse. In the long run this leads to worse outcomes for those suffering from neck arthritis.
The best treatments for arthritis in the neck address underlying causes to help keep you active strong, and doing what you love.
What Causes Arthritis In The Neck?
The best treatments for neck arthritis are the ones that address the root causes. In the simplest terms, osteoarthritis is caused by too much wear and tear on the structures of our neck (joints, discs, vertebrae, etc). Too much impact on our spine over too long a period of time leads to the bony growth (arthritis) that is often seen on X-Rays (see picture below).
The Best Treatments For Arthritis In The Neck
Knowing that arthritis is caused by too much wear and tear on our spine, the best treatments for neck arthritis are the ones that help limit the impact that goes through our spine. For the neck, this can be achieved in the following ways.
Poor posture is the most common cause of neck arthritis in the general population. The further your head falls forward, the more extension is requied at your neck to look forward. This places more impact on your joints and discs which overtime leads to osetoarthritis in your neck. Improving posture and learning proper head positioning will help treat arthritis in the neck. The Chin Tuck Exercise is a good place to start.
Poor posture places more impact on your spinal joints, leading to more osteoarthritis
Improving Mid Back Mobility
A common finding for those with neck arthritis is a tight mid back. That is, limited movement in your thoracic spine. It common presents as your mid back and shoulders rounding forward. This leads to your head falling forward and placing more impact on the joints of your neck. This is why improving mid back mobility should be part of yoru plan to treat neck arthritis. The Foam Roll Extension is my favorite exercise to improve mid back mobility.
Tightness in your mid back and lead to more impact at your neck, worsening neck arthritis.
Building A Strong Back
The absolute best thing you can do to treat arthritis in the neck is to build strength. Particularly the muscles of your back. A strong back improves posture and restores balance to limit impact on your spine. A comprehensive strength program helps treat neck arthritis as well as improve our ability to perform our daily activities. The Single Arm Dumbell Row is a great place to start strengthening your back for less neck arthritis.
Strengthening weak muscles limits impact on the spine to effectively treat arthritis.
The traditional approach of pills, injections, and surgery to treat isn’t working. More than ever, people are relying on medical intervention just to make it through their day. The best treatments for arthritis in the neck not only help to limit pain and soreness but to maintain your lifestyle as you get older. For this reason, improving movement, posture, and strength are the best treatments for arthritis in your neck.
For the last 10 years I’ve been working with adults to help solve chronic joint pain, keep active, and maintain their lifestyle as they get older. To get started building the strength to solve chronic joint pain, be sure to download my free guide ‘Solving Pain With Strength’ below.