What Is Cervical Spondylosis?
Cervical spondylosis is a disorder in which there is abnormal wear and tear of the cartilage and bones of the neck (cervical vertebrae). It is a common cause of chronic neck pain.
What Are The Risk Factors?
- Aging ( More than 60 years)
- Overweight and lack of exercise
- Having a job that requires heavy lifting or a lot of bending and twisting
- Past neck injury (often several years before)
- Past spine surgery
- Ruptured or slipped disk
- Severe arthritis
- Small fractures to the spine from osteoporosis
What Are The Symptoms Of Cervical Spondylosis?
- Pain over the shoulder blade and it may spread to the upper arm, forearm, or (rarely) fingers
- Neck stiffness that gets worse over time
- Numbness or abnormal sensations in the shoulders, arms, or (rarely) legs
- Headaches, especially in the back of the head
- Loss of balance
- Loss of control over the bladder or bowels (if there is pressure on the spinal cord)
How Is Cervical Spondylosis Diagnosed?
- Neck x-ray
- MRI of the neck
- EMG and nerve conduction velocity test may be done to examine nerve root function
What Is The Treatment For Cervical Spondylosis?
Taking care of your neck and back at home and preventing pain from reoccurring can help you avoid surgery.
- Physical therapy
- Cold packs and heat therapy may help your pain during flare-ups
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin, naproxen sodium, diclofenac sodium and ibuprofen can help with the pain
If the pain does not respond to these treatments, or if you have a loss of movement or feeling, surgery is considered. Surgery is done to relieve the pressure on the nerves or spinal cord.
- Spinal fusion