Cervical spondylosis, also known as cervical osteoarthritis and neck arthritis, is a very common age-related condition that affects the joints in the neck.
It occurs because of wear and tear of the cartilage, tissues and bones of the cervical spine. These changes may include dehydrated discs, herniated discs, bone spurs and stiff ligaments.
Apart from age, other risk factors for cervical spondylosis include occupations that may cause more stress on your neck, certain neck injuries, incorrect posture while sitting or walking, smoking, being overweight, a sedentary lifestyle and genetic factors.
Cervical spondylosis does not cause noticeable symptoms for most people.
However, some may experience neck pain, mild and chronic pain around the shoulder blades, stiffness in the neck, muscle weakness, headaches, pain along the arms and in the fingers, and a tingling sensation on the shoulders and arms. At times, one may also have symptoms like loss of balance.
Most people above age 65 suffer from some degree of cervical spondylosis. Fortunately, with the help of certain medications, simple lifestyle changes and some simple home remedies, you can control the symptoms and lead a pain-free life. Follow the remedies daily until you recover completely.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for cervical spondylosis.
1. Regular Exercise
One of the major causes of cervical spondylosis is lack of regular exercise. Therefore, you can reduce pain and stiffness around your neck and shoulders by incorporating regular physical exercise into your lifestyle.
- Rotate your head in both clockwise and counter-clockwise directions, and nod the neck side to side from one shoulder to the other. Do this for 10 minutes 2 or 3 times daily. This will help the pain in your neck from getting severe.
- You can even rotate your arms in clockwise and counter-clockwise directions, and fold and unfold your fists at regular intervals to control pain.
- Also, do low-impact aerobic exercises like swimming or brisk walking for 30 minutes at least 5 times a week.
- You can also enjoy cycling on a regular basis. However, make sure to keep your back straight while cycling.
Note: If the pain becomes severe while doing any kind of exercise, stop doing it and consult your doctor.
2. Hot and Cold Compresses
Another easy way to deal with neck pain due to cervical spondylosis is alternating hot and cold compresses on the affected area. Hot compresses will improve blood circulation and relax sore muscles. Cold compresses will reduce swelling and inflammation.
- To make the hot compress, wrap a hot water bag in a thin towel.
- To make the cold compress, wrap a few ice cubes in a thin towel.
- Place the hot compress on the affected area for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Remove it and apply the cold compress for 1 minute.
- Repeat the process for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Follow this simple remedy a few times daily until you get relief.
Note: Do not apply hot compresses if the affected area is red and irritated. Avoid cold compresses if you have circulatory problems.
3. Epsom Salt Bath
Taking an Epsom salt bath on a regular basis is another good remedy to ease symptoms related to cervical spondylosis. The magnesium in Epsom salt regulates the pH levels in the body, in turn reducing stiffness, inflammation and pain in the neck and shoulders.
- Mix a little water in 1 to 2 tablespoons of Epsom salt to make a thick paste. Apply it on the affected area for 15 to 20 minutes to get soothing comfort. Do this every other day.
- Alternatively, add 2 cups of Epsom salt to a warm bath. Soak in it for 15 to 20 minutes. Enjoy this relaxing bath 2 or 3 times a week.
Note: Those who have kidney problems, heart problems or diabetes must not use this remedy.
Garlic gives good results when it comes to cervical spondylosis symptoms. Its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties help treat pain, swelling and inflammation in the neck and surrounding areas.
- Eat a couple of raw garlic buds on an empty stomach each morning with water. You can also take garlic capsules but only after consulting your doctor.
- Another option is to heat 2 to 3 crushed garlic cloves in a pan with some vegetable oil. Allow it to cool, then use it to massage the painful area for 5 to 10 minutes. Follow this with a warm bath. Do this 2 times daily.
Continue either of these remedies daily until you recover completely.
Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric is another popular remedy for cervical spondylosis. In addition, turmeric increases blood circulation, which helps reduce muscle stiffness and pain.
- Mix 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder in a glass of milk. Heat it on low heat for 5 minutes. Allow it to cool, then add a little honey. Drink it 2 times daily.
- Alternatively, take turmeric capsules 3 times daily. Consult your doctor for the correct dosage.
6. Sesame Seeds
One popular Ayurvedic remedy to deal with cervical spondylosis is sesame seeds. They are rich in calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper, zinc, phosphorus and vitamins K and D, which are good for your bones and overall health. Sesame oil is also effective in reducing neck pain.
- Apply some warm sesame oil on the affected area and massage for 10 minutes. Then apply a hot compress on the area. Do this 3 or 4 times daily.
- You can also mix a few drops of lavender oil in warm sesame oil and use it to massage the neck area.
- Other options are to chew 1 tablespoon of roasted white sesame seeds once daily in the morning, or mix 1 teaspoon of roasted and ground sesame seeds in a glass of warm milk and drink it 2 times daily. Also, include sesame seeds in your cooking.