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Broadgate spine & joint clinic news

by Gerard Hall

Arthritic conditions that affect the cervical spine can cause terrible neck pain for the sufferer. These conditions are usually either diagnosed as inflammatory or mechanical, with the latter being the more common of the two.

Mechanical Causes

These arthritic conditions are more common and tend to be caused by a structural dysfunction of the spine, such as facet joint disease, intevertebral disc disease or postural neck pain, which is very common among patients who sit at a desk all day.

Inflammatory Causes

These are less common, but they can still cause a great deal of neck pain and discomfort. The several types of inflammatory arthritis include rheumatoid arthritis, polymyalgia rheumatica, ankylosing spondylitis, infections and, very rarely, malignancies.

The pain caused by these conditions will usually be worse following periods of inactivity, at night time and in the early mornings, when the neck may feel particularly stiff. Exercise and anti-inflammatory medications such as Diclofenac and Ibuprofen can help to ease the inflammatory symptoms.

Types of Inflammatory Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis is one of the most commonly known kinds of inflammatory arthritis and around 1 in 50 people in the UK suffer from it. It usually affects young and middle-aged females, but it can occur at any age.

Ankylosing Spondylitis usually causes low back pain rather than neck pain and it tends to affect twenty and thirtysomething men. However, when women suffer from it, it can cause problems in the upper spine and lead to a stiff neck and thoracic spine.

Polymyalgia Rheumatica causes sudden pain and stiffness of the neck and upper arms in the over-60s. Stiffness will tend to be worse in the morning and sometimes the thighs can be affected too,

Infections and malignancy are rare causes of neck pain that occur when an intervertebral disc becomes infected. Symptoms can include fevers, severe pain and constitutional malaise.

If you would like to learn more about these inflammatory causes of arthritic conditions, read our article in the Broadgate Journal now.

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