Cervical Spondylosis: Cause and Symptoms
Cervical spondylosis is a general term to describe the degenerative condition in the neck which results in pain and other symptoms. Some people know it as the arthritis of the neck. It is mostly common in people above the age of 60, and is more prevalent in women than men. Most of the people with this condition do not display any symptoms and are able to continue with the normal daily activities.
Cause of Spondylosis
The cause of cervical spondylosis due to the long-term degeneration and wear and tear of the cervical spine and intervertebral discs. Some long-term activities like martial arts or previous untreated neck injuries from a fall or whiplash, may speed up the wear and tear process. Smoking may also increase the risk. These changes can include:
- Bones Spurs (Osteophytes)
As the bones and joints go through wear and tear, new bones may form around the joints as it heals. The abnormal growth of bones around the joint are called bone spurs. However, these bone spurs can sometimes grow out of place, pinching onto the nerves and spinal cord around the area, resulting in pain.
- Degeneration of the Disc
With time, the soft tissue loses its elasticity and shrinks in size, becoming thinner. This increases the contact between bone and bone.
- Herniation of the Discs
Subsequently, as the disc becomes less flexible, it is also more susceptible to tear and rupture. The disc may either crack or bulge out, pressing onto the surrounding nerves and spinal cord, causing pain, tingling or numbness.
Symptoms of Spondylosis
In most cases, people with cervical spondylosis are not aware of it as there are no symptoms. However, when symptoms do occur, it’s usually
- Neck pain and stiffness
- Muscle spasms
- Restricted neck movement
- Cracking or popping sound when moving the head
In some cases, when compression of the nerve roots and spinal cord are present, symptoms such as pain, tingling, numbness or weakness running down the shoulder and arms may be present. The area of symptoms may also vary depending on the level of compression.
Feeling worried about your condition and would like to know more about it? Make an appointment with our physiotherapist, and we will guide you to a better recovery!