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Chiropractic Care for Cervical Arthritis

Published Date: 
February 24, 2023
A woman is suffering from arthritis in her neck.

Arthritis in the neck causes pain and discomfort that can be treated naturally with chiropractic care for cervical arthritis.

Chiropractic care is an effective treatment option for neck arthritis because it helps relieve chronic pain and inflammation in the affected joints while promoting increased flexibility and range of motion. By addressing musculoskeletal imbalances, improving joint function, and supporting overall health and wellness, chiropractic care can help to enhance the quality of life and reduce the discomfort of cervical arthritis.

What Is Cervical Arthritis?

Cervical arthritis is a type of arthritis that affects the joints in your neck. A number of different factors, including injury, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis, can cause this. Symptoms may include pain or stiffness in your neck when you move it, swelling or tenderness in the affected area, and more.

Some common causes of cervical arthritis include degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, or injury to the neck or spine. These conditions may also exacerbate symptoms associated with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. Additionally, certain medical conditions, such as lupus, may lead to inflammation in the cervical spine, triggering cervical arthritis symptoms.

Types of Arthritis in the Neck

Several different types of arthritis can occur in the neck, including:


This is the most common type of arthritis to affect the neck. It occurs when there is a breakdown and loss of cartilage (the cushioning material) between joints. As this happens, bones may rub against each other, causing pain and loss of movement in the neck.

Rheumatoid arthritis

This autoimmune disease can cause inflammation in the joints and connective tissues, including those in the neck. Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include joint stiffness and swelling, fatigue, fever, and weight loss.


This condition causes painful, swollen joints in the neck. Gout is caused by excess uric acid in the body, which certain medications and foods can trigger.


This type of arthritis occurs when calcium crystals build up in and around the joints. It often affects people over 60 and can cause joint pain, stiffness, and swelling.


This condition is characterized by widespread pain in the body, including the neck. Symptoms of fibromyalgia include fatigue, sleep disturbances, and memory and concentration problems.

Sjogren's syndrome

This autoimmune disease often affects the joints of the neck and other body parts. Symptoms include joint pain, dry eyes and mouth, and swollen glands.

What Causes Arthritis in the Neck?

Arthritis is a condition that causes inflammation in the joints. This inflammation can cause pain and stiffness throughout the body, including in the neck. Several different types of arthritis affect the neck, all of which are caused by some kind of abnormal immune response

Some common causes of arthritis in the neck include:

  • Autoimmune disorders, such as psoriatic arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis
  • Injury or trauma 
  • Bacterial infections that spread to the joints from another part of the body, such as a heart valve infection
  • Genetic factors
  • Certain medications, including chemotherapeutic drugs and corticosteroids

Cervical Arthritis Symptoms

Cervical arthritis can cause many different symptoms, including: 

Pain and stiffness in the neck

Arthritis is a condition that affects the joints, causing pain and inflammation. Moving around and performing everyday activities, such as walking or lifting objects, can be challenging. Arthritis pain often feels like a dull ache in the affected area, which can be mild or severe depending on factors like the severity and duration of the condition.

A man is holding the back of his neck because he is suffering from cervical arthritis pain.


Neck arthritis is a common condition that can cause pain, stiffness, and reduced range of motion in the neck area. Though it’s not directly linked to headaches, those with neck arthritis may experience some of the same symptoms as those suffering from tension or migraine headaches. Some possible headache triggers associated with neck arthritis include stress, improper posture, and muscle tension.

Problems with balance

Neck arthritis can cause balance problems in many different ways. 

For example, if your neck is stiff or painful, you may find it challenging to keep your head straight and upright. This can make it harder for you to maintain balance when walking or standing still. Additionally, if you are experiencing tingling or numbness in your arms or legs, it can be challenging to notice when you are starting to lose your balance and fall. 

Finally, if you are experiencing severe pain or headaches as a result of your neck arthritis, this may make it harder for you to pay attention to where you are going and what is happening around you.

Reduced mobility

Neck arthritis is a common condition that can cause pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility in the neck. In some cases, this limited movement may make it difficult to complete certain activities or perform everyday tasks. Many different factors can contribute to decreased mobility in people with neck arthritis, including inflammation of the joints in the spine and swelling and muscle spasms. 

Additionally, lifestyle factors―such as lack of exercise, poor posture, and being overweight―may contribute to limited mobility in people with neck arthritis.

The severity of these symptoms can vary from person to person, depending on the underlying cause of their cervical arthritis and other factors such as age, overall health, and lifestyle.

Long-Term Effects of Cervical Arthritis

Cervical arthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease or cervical spondylosis, is a common condition that can cause stiffness and pain in the neck. While there are many long-term effects of this condition, some of the most common include the following:

Muscle weakness or stiffness

Due to the abnormal wear and tear on the joints in the cervical spine, muscles and ligaments can become weak or stiff, leading to an impaired range of motion. This can make it difficult or painful to move the neck, leading to increased discomfort over time.

Neurological problems

Cervical arthritis may also damage nearby nerves that transmit signals from the brain to other areas of the body, such as the arms and legs. As a result, people with cervical arthritis may experience problems such as numbness in the hands or feet, difficulty walking, or balance issues.

A woman is holding the back of her neck because she is in pain from cervical arthritis.

Chronic pain

Many individuals with cervical arthritis experience ongoing pain that can significantly limit their ability to perform normal daily activities. This pain can vary in severity, with some people experiencing sharp or stabbing sensations while others experience a dull and throbbing ache.

Overall, there are long-term effects of cervical arthritis that can impact daily life and functioning of those with this condition. However, despite these challenges, many effective treatment options are available to help manage symptoms and improve quality of life.

Chiropractic Treatment for Cervical Arthritis

Treatment may include medications and physical therapy to help manage pain and anti-inflammatory drugs or corticosteroids to reduce swelling. If another medical condition causes your arthritis, treatment will focus on managing that condition first, then addressing any resulting symptoms of cervical arthritis.


Looking for a chiropractor to treat neck arthritis can be tricky; this condition is usually caused by various factors. If you're having trouble finding a good chiropractor that specializes in treating neck arthritis, here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Start by asking your friends and family members if they know of any good chiropractors in your area who may specialize in treating neck arthritis. 
  • Check online directories and review sites to see if any reviews or recommendations for local chiropractors are listed there. 
  • If you don't find any recommendations online, consider calling or scheduling an appointment with a few local chiropractors to see if they offer the services you need. 

Dr. Darren Faherty D.C.

In 2004, Dr. Darren Faherty graduated with a Bachelors of Science degree in Biology from UWEC - University of Wisconsin Eau Claire. Dr. Darren continued education at the highly esteemed University of Western States (formerly Western States Chiropractic College) where he obtained his chiropractic degree in 2007. He has been helping people recover from injuries and return to their normal lifestyles ever since.

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