Rheumatoid Arthritis-Related Neck Pain
and How To Get Quick Relief
Rheumatoid arthritis is a type of arthritis caused by an autoimmune response. In a nutshell, a person's immune system starts to attack their joints. Any joint can be affected, including the joints in the neck.
This condition is generally quite painful, as well as causes stiffness and a host of other symptoms that can cause major discomfort in the neck. There are many treatments, but few are free of risks. One that is both safe and effective is known as neck traction.
What are the Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis?
This condition causes joint pain and deterioration. The joints can be very stiff in the mornings. They are often warm, swollen and tender. These symptoms can greatly reduce a person's quality of life due to the pain and limited range of motion.
Potential Rheumatoid Arthritis Complications
In terms of the neck, osteoporosis can occur as a result of this condition. This complication is generally due to the medication used to treat the condition. Some of the treatments can cause bone weakening. When your bones are weak, your risk of fracture is increased.
While unrelated to the neck, carpal tunnel syndrome is also possible. This can occur when the nerves in the wrist become compressed from the inflammation that occurs along with this condition.
Traditional Treatments for Rheumatoid Arthritis Can Be Risky
Medications are prescribed to most people with this condition. None of these are without risks. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are very common. These work to decrease inflammation and pain.
These have the potential to cause side effects ranging from stomach irritation, to ringing in the ears to heart problems.
1. Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs work to save joints and tissues, and slow down how quickly this disease progresses. Side effects range from bone marrow suppression to liver damage.
2. Tumor necrosis factor-alpha inhibitors work to reduce morning stiffness, pain, swelling and tenderness. Side effects range from congestive heart failure to serious infections.
3. Steroids work to reduce pain and inflammation, and slow down joint damage. Side effects range from cataracts to weight gain.
4. Immunosuppressants suppress the immune system because the immune system is hyperactive in this condition. Side effects can range from severe lung infections to liver damage.
Physical therapy is a common part of a complete treatment plan. This can help you to remain mobile for longer. If you are having difficulty performing daily tasks, occupational therapy can be helpful in teaching you alternative methods for getting these daily tasks done.
In severe cases where joints are destroyed, surgery is always an option. Common surgical procedures for joints include tendon repair, joint fusion (spinal fusion in the neck) and total joint replacement.
Neck Traction Can Help Rheumatoid Arthritis In A Safe Way
Neck traction can help to reduce the need for medications and maybe even surgery. Rheumatoid arthritis is characterized by inflammation.
This inflammation can cause a variety of problems in the cervical spine. When the neck has severe inflammation, it can cause pain, stiffness and even put you at risk for a pinched nerve.
Medications can help in reducing inflammation and other symptoms, but these can also cause severe side effects. Neck traction does not cause any side effects. This treatment method is also effective in alleviating stiffness and pain.
How Neck Traction Therapy Works
Neck traction works by gently and completely stretching the spine and the surrounding muscles. This helps to promote healing in the cervical spine. If the inflammation has caused a pinched nerve, traction can be beneficial in relieving the pressure that is pinching this nerve.
With regular use, this can help to allow the pinched nerve to heal. It will start to reduce the associated pain and other symptoms usually with the first traction session.
How to use Neck Traction Treatment at Home
Neck traction can be performed several times a day as pain relief is needed. You should do traction regularly for best results. Regularly is generally considered to be two times a day. Each of the two sessions should be 15 minutes in length. When performing extra sessions of neck traction, these too should be for 15 minutes.
To start neck traction, you will begin with seven-minute sessions twice a day. Every two to three days, you will add a minute to your sessions until you are doing 15 minute sessions. It is important to start small and work your way up.
This ensures that you get your neck used to traction and do not actually cause injury by doing too much too fast. Working your way up allows you to get the pain relief right away while getting your neck used to the treatment to promote healing.