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Joint Degeneration – Head & Neck

Causes: Typically joint degeneration can occur in most people as they age. At times, degeneration can be referred to “wear and tear”. Degeneration of the joint surface, for example, can be accompanied by an overgrowth of bone, narrowing of the joint space and deformity of the joint.

Symptoms: The presentation of signs and symptoms can vary greatly depending on the affected joint. Generally symptoms may include:

  • Pain and discomfort
  • Swelling and tenderness to touch
  • Joint may be warm to touch
  • Prolonged joint stiffness which may follow activity
  • Pain worsened by activity or when weight-bearing
  • Limitation of motion
  • Shooting pain, weakness and numbness when bony structure pushes on the nerve root
  • When progressed, crepitus (e.g. creaking or cracking)

Examples: Stenosis, osteoarthritis.

How our experts can help: Depending on the findings of the history and patient examination, the chiropractor will recommend an individualized plan of management. The treatment options may include:

  • Patient education and reassurance
  • Mobilization of the joint, or associated joints
  • Soft tissue therapy
  • Modalities including electrical stimulation, acupuncture, ultrasound and others
  • Rehabilitation and exercises
  • Ergonomic and lifestyle changes
  • Referral and co-management
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