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Managing Spondylitis

In the long run, a collar is to be avoided as it stiffens the neck muscles and disturbs the alignment.
PTI | By HT Correspondent
PUBLISHED ON JUL 30, 2003 10:59 PM IST

Medical science accepts cervical spondylitis as a normal degenerative aging change. Painkillers are prescribed. In order to prevent the symptoms of vascular insufficiency, anti-platelet drugs are given to maintain cerebral blood flow.

This makes the platelets less sticky, the blood thinner and helps better flow. But this is illogical. The essential change is of a mechanical nature. If the cervical spine could be realigned and the intervertebral spaces widened, a normal state of blood flow would be restored. Physiotherapy can, at best, only offer marginal relief. sometimes the condition may even be aggravated. It is better avoided.

In situations where the patient suffers acute giddiness, it is useful to restrict the movement of the neck with a soft collar. Sudden neck movements cause the spur to impinge on the cervical nerves and blood vessels and reduce the blood to the brain.

This creates a situation where the patient, sometimes becomes afraid of moving the neck. In the long run, of course, a collar is to be avoided as it stiffens the neck muscles and pushes the neck out of alignment. The problem is worsened as, for health, the muscles and bones have to be aligned and stretched rather than made stiff.

Cervical traction, where the skull is lifted up, has its value in a few cases. But, in due course, the weight of the skull makes it settle down on the cervical column and the symptoms recur. Though, obviously, the osteo-phytes cannot be removed, one can adjust and realign the spine so that compression of the vertebral arteries and cervical nerves does not occur.


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