Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: arthritic neck

  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    430

    arthritic neck

    any one ever been diagnosed with this?I have been battling a bad neck for 2 yrs.Had a mri and dr says degenarative athritis.I am about to give up riding.After riding for 18 years it is a hard pill to swallow.Tried chrio accupuncture various meds all kinds of bike fit combos Any help please

  2. #2
    gls
    gls is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    48

    Neck Strengthening excercises worked for me.

    This is a pretty common condition- I have it too. A rheumatologist gave me a set of neck excercises that really helped. Basically you press on your forehead with your hands while pushing back with your neck muscles. Repeat on the back of your head and on each side. I would do like 10 reps each a couple times a day. Don't push so hard that it hurts. The idea is to build up your neck muscles so that they hold the vertebrae more rigidly. Certain types of stretches may also help. You might want to talk to a physical therapist or another doctor about it. (Rheumatologists are way better at this kind of stuff than most GPs)

    You could try glucosamine if you haven't already. There are a number of good clinical studies that show efficacy. Also, I would strongly recommend between 2 and 4 grams of fish oil per day for anyone with inflamation issues of any kind. The scientific data on this is very solid, and my own experience with it has been very good. (Fish oil pills are better than actual fish because the heavy metals and other toxins in fish have been distilled out of the oil. It's also way cheaper. Flaxseed is sometimes touted as a good source of omega-3 fatty acids just like fish but it is not, because the body is not efficient at converting it to the form needed.)

    If you are in bad enough shape, I know a mountain biker who has had some vertebral fusions done. Sounds like it worked well for him- he still has pretty good range of motion and he still rides. Good luck with it.

  3. #3
    Bodhisattva
    Reputation: The Squeaky Wheel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    9,513
    Degenerative disc disease is very common and prevalence increases with age. In fact, if you randomly did x-rays on everyone over age 65 it would be uncommon to find a normal neck.

    There is no "cure" but many things can be helpful. But know in advance that what works for one person may not work for another so this really becomes a personal journey and you have to take responsibility.

    In my experience, improvement is never made without strengthening the supporting muscles. gls cites one technique which may be helpful. I usually recommend starting with a good physical therapist who can tailor a program to your needs. Chiro, accupuncture & massage may be helpful but sounds like they haven't panned out in your case.

    The evidence for glucosamine is weak. There are some decent studies showing a modest pain relieving effect in osteoarthritis of the knee but, again, effect is mild and studies that have looked at efficacy in other parts have been disappointing. On the other hand, it's a benign therapy without any real downside aside from the money. If you do it, make sure it's a good preparation like cosamin ds. The dose studied is 1500 mg daily. There has been no good evidence that chondroitin or MSM help so use your own discretion if the product you choose contains these.

    Omega-3 fatty acids, as found in fish oils, have also been reported to be of some benefit in inflammatory states. Again, the data is relatively weak but I've heard of individual successes.

    To summarize:
    - Definitely get involved in a good PT program
    - Other modalities such as chiro, accupuncture, massage,etc are at your discretion
    - You can try glucosamine and/or omega-3 acids. There is no downside with some potential upside. I'd recommend you start one compound at a time and reasses where you're at after 3 months which is a good amount of time to see effect. If you're not improved then throw them away as you're only wasting money. There is zero evidence that use of these compounds will slow the progress of disease or save you worries down the road. Don't start both at once because if you have improvement then you won't know which one is helping.

    I hope this helps.
    Life....the original terminal illness

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: SageSierra's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    14

    Get out and ride & strengthen your muscles

    How do I remove a double post?
    Last edited by SageSierra; 11-05-2006 at 04:36 AM. Reason: Double Post
    "Flat headed red rimmed socket-eyed stumpy legged B****"

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: SageSierra's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    14

    Get out and ride & strengthen your muscles..want to hear from you if had ACDF

    This week I was told I had severe Degenerative Disc Disease on C2, C3, & C4 with prolapsed discs. This could be seen on my Xray without even an MRI (will be ordered preop because there will be more issues found - don't want to know), I have more than 50% of my disc space missing. I have had this for over ten years but it really progressed this spring through now on a daily basis - my only option is Cervical Discectomy with Fusion (ACDF). I opted to hold out for now, the OS was telling me all the things I need to avoid now - I went into a foggy oasis and quipped, "Please don't take biking away from me!" He said I could continue biking, fencing, & weight training. I have gotten back in shape since release from my last two knee surgeries & reconstruction and in the best shape since HS. I have ridden the most this year than any other. It is my love and it would be catatrophic if taken away from me. I am having trouble with the cool weather and night time coming at 5 PM.

    The OS could tell that I was maintaining my strength through weight training. He actually thanked me for having an active lifestyle. I understand he carefully selects ones who will benefit from the surgery. The key is exercise and strengthening your whole body. The worst thing is sitting - literally! PT will put you on a stationary bike so why not get out and ride! Look into different set up of handle bar rise. I need to do this with my road bike because the should arm and hand pain gets unbearable after 15 miles. Yes, you will look dorky but if you love riding...do whatever you can because cycling is a great exercise for everyone!

    I went to a chiropractor the last couple of years with little relief & last visit ended when manipulation turned painful & tight because of little disc on my left side. I am going to try Flaxseed Oil. Liquid Glucousamine 2000 mg with chondroitin did not work for me after taking for 2 yrs for my knees.

    In the Spring, I noticed some neurological issues (unknown at the time related to neck) creeping up while dismounting and riding my bike and walking gait (go into walls when turn head). I started BOSU exercises to gain coordination in the spring. I go to the gym as much as possible and spin 3 times a week. I know it is a battle with myself but it has to be done. One will lose muscle strength with DDD so at least maintain what you have & get out and ride.

    I can't handle the thought of 3 fused vertebrae and not being able to pivot my head. Anyone know how close US is to Disc implants? I am wondering if I should go all out riding my hardest next year or do I have surgery and hope I can still ride? Any info on this problem is greatly appreciated!!! Get out and ride - maintaining your strength through exercise is important for many health conditions, including arthritis.
    Last edited by SageSierra; 11-05-2006 at 04:34 AM.
    "Flat headed red rimmed socket-eyed stumpy legged B****"

  6. #6
    Bodhisattva
    Reputation: The Squeaky Wheel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    9,513
    Disc implants have been used with varying results in the lumbar spine for several years.

    I am not aware of any progress on cervical spine implants.
    Life....the original terminal illness

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation: BoiseBoy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    705

    Pt

    Call around and find a good manual theapist. A good program of mobilzations, postural changes, occasional traction, and Cervical stabilizations exercises have worked well for myslelf and my degenerative patients.

    Unfortunately, the head position on a bike puts us in a vulnerable posture which eventually leads to a more pronounced forward head. This posture tends to break down the C5-C7 segments rather quickly. I think a consult with a good PT is going to help you significantly more than supplements or chiropractic care.
    BoiseBoy

  8. #8
    mmmm, caffeine!
    Reputation: Noonie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    375
    Well that sucks a bag a........................um, never mind

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    1,847
    my father was a very fit 65 year old (mostly road biker, occasional mt biker) with degenerative arthritis condition in his neck. went over the handlebars at low speed, didn't get his arms out in time to break his fall, impacted his helmet on the pavement, massive C2 damage. paralysis from the neck down; the docs say this was because the arthritic condition greatly reduces the space for the spinal cord 'gel', and thus relatively mild impacts can cause massive bruising/swelling in the cord---which shuts down most of the nerves.

    this happened 8 months ago and he has regained use of one arm and can somewhat move his legs/torso. i don't want to get into those details; the point of my post is that for those of us hoping to ride in our 60s and beyond, this makes you think.

    in retrospect i think he could have benefitted from some type of gymnastic training as he got older. you know how some people can come off a bike, do a clean shoulder roll, and pop up like an olympic gymnast as if nothing happened? he did not have that type of ability.

    guess i'm saying that in addition to good PT and the other measures discussed here, consider things that improve body awareness and balance, and gymnastic ability.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    155
    Boise Boy -

    I have some degenerative cervical changes as well, per my chiropractor. I am about to start 2 months of traction therapy - similar to the stuff done on http://www.idealspine.com website. For all those afflicted, espcially if you are considering surgery, I recommend trying this out as two friend reported significant improvements. My question is - would it be better to switch to switch from cross-country platform (I have an Ibis Silk Ti) to more of a trail bike because of the head position? I guess I am partly trying to justify purchasing an Ibis Mojo and selling my old bike.

    Also - any other changes you recommend - narrow handlebars, only go dual suspension, taller handlebars?

    Thanks

    Ben

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •