Cervical spondylosis is also called cervical osteoarthritis. It is a condition involving changes to the bones, discs, and joints of the neck. These changes are caused by the normal wear-and-tear of aging.
Cervical Spondylosis Causes and Risk Factors
- Aging Cervical spondylosis often develops as a result of changes in your neck joints as you age. Your spinal disks can become dry and begin shrinking around the time you turn 40, reducing the cushioning between the bones in your neck.
- Your disks might also develop cracks as you get older. This causes them to bulge or become herniated. You might also develop bone spurs, or extra bony growths. Herniated disks and bone spurs can put extra pressure on your spinal cord and nerve roots, causing joint pain. This makes it more difficult or painful for you to move your neck.
- Overweight and inactive.
- Neck injuries
- Work-related activities that put extra strain on your neck from heavy lifting, Holding your neck in an uncomfortable position for prolonged periods of time, or repeating the same neck movements throughout the day (repetitive stress)
- Being overweight and inactive.
What Are the Symptoms of Cervical Spondylosis?
The symptoms of cervical spondylosis include:
- Neck stiffness and pain.
- Pain radiating to the shoulder or arms.
- Headache that may originate in the neck.
- Inability to fully turn the head or bend the neck, sometimes interfering with driving
- Grinding noise or sensation when the neck is turned
- Symptoms of cervical spondylosis tend to improve with rest. Symptoms are most severe in the morning and again at the end of the day.
- Tingling, numbness or weakness in the arms, hands, legs, or feet. Lack of coordination and difficulty walking.
- Abnormal reflexes.
- Muscle spasm.
- Loss of control over bladder and bowel (incontinence).
Diagnosis AND Test for Cervical Spondylosis
- X-rays can be used to check for bone spurs and other abnormalities.
- A computerized tomography scan (CT scan) can provide more detailed images of your neck.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which produces images using radio waves and a magnetic field, helps locate pinched nerves.