Cervical Spondylosis

Cervical spondylosis is a common disorder that results from age-related wear and tear of the cartilage and bones found in the cervical spine in neck. This occurs due to dehydration or shrinking of disc.

Causes of Cervical Spondylosis

The main reason for cervical spondylosis is progressive aging that causes gradual wear and tear of the bones and cartilage of neck. The changes include:

  • Dehydration, drying or shrinking of spinal discs
  • Herniation or bulging of disks
  • Bone spurs
  • Stiff ligaments leading to decreased flexibility of neck

Risk factors of Cervical Spondylosis

Risk factors for cervical spondylosis include:

  • Aging
  • Occupation that causes stress on neck due to repetitive neck motions
  • Awkward positioning of neck
  • Lot of overhead work
  • Neck injuries
  • Genetic
  • Smoking
  • Being overweight
  • Sedentary lifestyle

Symptoms of Cervical Spondylosis

Most of the patients experience no symptoms while others may experience following symptoms:

  • Chronic, severe pain and stiffness in neck
  • Muscle weakness
  • Headaches that mostly occur in the back of the head
  • Tingling, numbness and weakness in arms, hands, legs or feet
  • Lack of coordination
  • Difficulty walking
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control

Tests and diagnosis for Cervical Spondylosis

Physical and neurological examination of the patient along with following diagnostic tests confirms the diagnosis of cervical spondylosis in patients with acute neck pain:

  • Neck X-ray
  • CT scan
  • MRI
  • Myelograpy
  • Electromyography (EMG)
  • Nerve conduction study

Treatments and drugs for Cervical Spondylosis

Treatment for cervical spondylosis is done to relieve pain and improve the quality of life of the patient. It depends specifically upon the severity of the signs and symptoms and may include any of the following:

  • Medications
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Corticosteroids
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Anti-seizure medications
  • Antidepressants
  • Prescription pain relievers
  •  Physical therapy
  •  Acupuncture
  •  Surgery
  • Removing a herniated disk or bone spurs
  • Removing part of a vertebra
  • Fusing a segment of the neck using bone graft and hardware
Neck Pain Problem

Cervical Spondylosis