Cervical spondylosis, a common cause of chronic neck pain, is the degeneration of the cartilage and bones of the neck (cervical vertebrae), the discs (cushions) between the vertebrae and the joints between the bones of the cervical spine. Abnormal growths (bone spurs) may also appear on the bones of the spine. Cervical spondylosis becomes more common as people age. Statistics show that more than 85% of people over age 60 are affected. Although it is a form of arthritis, cervical spondylosis rarely causes symptoms that are crippling or disabling.
Cervical Spondylosis Symptoms
Although symptoms usually develop slowly over time, they may also start suddenly or worsen suddenly. You may experience any of these common symptoms of cervical spondylosis:
Less common symptoms of cervical spondylosis are:
Many people with cervical spondylosis are able to maintain active lives. Unfortunately, some will have to live with chronic pain.
Cervical Spondylosis Causes
Although the primary cause of cervical spondylosis is natural aging and degeneration of the cervical spine, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) lists the following risk factors for cervical spondylosis.
Cervical Spondylosis Treatment
Treatment options for cervical spondylosis focus on nonsurgical approaches such as pain medications, injections, physical therapy, a home exercize program, cold packs and heat therapy. Surgical treatments are sometimes necessary and usually include spinal fusion surgery.
The multidisciplinary team of orthopaedic experts at North Shore-LIJ Orthopaedic Institute's Spine Services in New York treats cervical spondylosis as well as a broad range of spine conditions that can occur at any stage of life.