Cervical Spondylosis: Causes, Symptoms, Home Treatments 2020

Cervical Spondylosis: Causes, Symptoms, Home Treatments 2020.

This article is medically reviewed by Dr. Rajneesh Tripathi.

Cervical spondylosis or Cervical arthritis is a common, age-related condition that affects the joints and discs in your cervical spine, that is in your neck. It’s also called cervical arthritis or neck arthritis. It develops from the wear and tear of cartilage and bones. Whereas it’s mostly the results of age, it may be caused by different factors yet.

Neck pain is caused by several things—but is most frequently relating to getting older. Just like the rest of the body, the joints and disks within the neck (cervical spine) slowly degenerate as we age. Cervical spondylosis, usually known as inflammatory disease or arthritis of the neck, is the medical term for these age-related wear-and-tear changes that occur over time.

More about Cervical spondylosis

Cervical spondylosis is very common. Over 85 % of people over the age of sixty are affected. The condition most frequently causes pain and stiffness within the neck—although many of us with cervical spondylosis expertise no noticeable symptoms. In most cases, cervical spondylosis responds well to conservative treatment with medication and physiotherapy or physical therapy.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, the condition is a gift in more than ninety percent of people aged sixty and older.

Some people that have it ne’er expertise symptoms. For others, it will cause chronic, severe pain and stiffness. However, many of us who have it can conduct normal daily activities.


For most people, cervical spondylosis causes no symptoms. Once symptoms do occur, they usually embrace pain and stiffness within the neck.

Sometimes, cervical spondylosis leads to a narrowing of the house required by the neural structure and also the nerve roots that meet up with the spine to the rest of your body. If the nerve roots or spinal cord become pinched, you may experience:

  • Neck stiffness and pain
  • Pain in the shoulder or arms
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control
  • Headache that may originate in the neck
  • Lack of coordination and problem in walking
  • Grinding sensation or noise when the neck is turned
  • Tingling, symptom, and weakness in your arms, hands, legs or feet
  • Inability to fully turn the bend or head the neck, sometimes interfering with driving.

How common is cervical spondylosis?

Aging is the major issue for developing cervical arthritis (cervical spondylosis). In the majority older than age fifty, the discs between the vertebrae decrease spongy and supply less of a cushion. Bones and ligaments get thicker, encroaching on the area of the vertebral canal.

Another issue can be a previous injury to the neck. People in certain occupations or who perform specific activities – like gymnasts or different athletes – might place more stress on their necks.

How Is Cervical Spondylosis Diagnosed?

The doctor will usually begin by asking you regarding symptoms and taking a medical record. This can be followed by a physical test of the body, with attention on the neck, back, and shoulders. The doctor is also likely to check reflexes and the strength of hands and arms, check for loss of sensation and watch you walk.

Other tests that may be done include imaging exams corresponding to X-rays, CAT (CT), and resonance imaging (MRI). MRI scans use large magnets, radio waves, and laptops to provide the simplest pictures of the body. You may even be referred to a specialist.


As you age, the bones and cartilage that frame your backbone and neck step by step develop wear and tear. These changes will include:

  • Dehydrated disks- This Disks act as cushions between the vertebrae of your spinal cord. By the age of forty, most people’s spinal disks begin drying out and shrinking, that permits a lot of bone-on-bone contact between the vertebrae.
  • Bone spurs- Disk degeneration usually leads to spine manufacturing and extra amounts of bone during a misguided effort to strengthen the spine. These bone spurs will generally pinch the medulla spinalis and nerve roots.
  • Stiff ligaments- Ligaments are cords of tissue that connect every bone to bone. Spinal ligaments will stiffen with age, creating your neck less flexible.
  • Herniated disks- Age also affects the outside of your spinal disks. Cracks usually seem, resulting in bulging (herniated) disks — that typically will maintain the medulla spinalis and nerve roots.

Risk factors

Risk factors for cervical spondylosis are as follows:

  • Age- Cervical spondylosis could be a normal part of aging.
  • Occupation- Jobs that involve repetitive neck motions, awkward positioning, or plenty of overhead work put further stress on your neck.
  • Neck injuries- Previous neck injuries seem to extend the chance of cervical spondylosis.
  • Genetic factors- Some people in certain families can expertise a lot of those changes over time, whereas others won’t.
  • Smoking- Smoking has been connected to increase the chance of neck pain.


A person will ease the symptoms of cervical spondylosis with some easy neck exercises.

Neck stretch

  1. Keep your body straight.
  2. Push your chin forward during an approach that stretches the throat.
  3. Softly tense the neck muscles.
  4. Hold this for five seconds.
  5. Return your head to its center position.
  6. Push your head back with the chin held high, and hold for five seconds.
  7. Carry out five repetitions.

Neck turn

  1. Turn your head to 1 aspect as way because it remains comfortable, being absolute to keep your chin at A level height.
  2. Tense your neck muscles for five seconds.
  3. Return the top to a central position.
  4. Repeat on the alternative aspect.
  5. Repeat this exercise five times on all sides.

Neck tilt

  1. Tilt your head forward, so the chin touches the chest.
  2. Softly tense the neck muscles.
  3. Hold this for five seconds.
  4. Return the top to a neutral position.
  5. Carry out five repetitions.

Neck tilt (side-to-side)

  1. Lean your head down towards shoulders, leading with your ear.
  2. Softly tense the neck muscles.
  3. Hold this for five seconds.
  4. Return your head to the middle and repeat on the opposite shoulder.
  5. Carry out five repetitions.

These exercises will help to moderate the impact of the condition and alleviate pain or feelings of stiffness. However, they’re going not to cure cervical spondylosis.


Cervical spondylosis is typically asymptomatic. Once symptoms do occur, they tend to resolve over time, typically without treatment. If symptoms occur, treatment will help to reduce the impact.

Muscle relaxants are helpful if the person has neck spasms, during which the neck muscles tighten suddenly. Options include cyclobenzaprine and similar muscle relaxants.

Antidepressants, like tricyclic antidepressant drugs, will typically facilitate to relieve persistent pain that has not responded to other treatments. Gabapentin is another choice.

Treatments for cervical spondylosis specialize in providing pain relief, lowering the chance of permanent injury, and leading a normal life.

Nonsurgical methods are sometimes very effective.

Physical therapy

Your doctor would possibly send you to a physical therapist for treatment. Physiatrist helps you stretch your neck and shoulder muscles. This makes them stronger and ultimately helps to relieve pain.

You might even have neck traction. This involves using weights to increase the area between the cervical joints and relieve the pressure on the cervical discs and nerve roots.


Your doctor may order certain medications if over-the-counter (OTC) medicine/drugs don’t work. These include:

  1. Narcotics, like hydrocodone (Norco), for pain relief
  2. Muscle relaxants, like cyclobenzaprine (Fexmid), to treat muscle spasms
  3. Steroid injections, like prednisone, to reduce tissue inflammation and later reduce pain
  4. Anti-epileptic medicine, like gabapentin (Neurontin), to relieve pain caused by nerve injury
  5. Prescription NSAID medicine (NSAIDs), like diclofenac (Voltaren-XR), to reduce inflammation

Asteroid injection within the neck might help with very severe pain.

Examples of steroid injections are as follows:

  • A Facet joint injection
  • Physical therapy may also help alleviate symptoms.
  • a trigger-point injection which will be done in a physician’s office
  • a cervical epidural steroid injection (ESI), performed under fluoroscopy, with the assistance of an x-ray


Sometimes, the symptoms of pain and stiffness still worsen, and nerve problems will occur. Surgery could also be a choice if the person experiences:

  • Muscle weakness
  • A loss of sensation
  • A loss of gut or bladder on function
  • Persistent neck pain that radiates down the arm
  • If magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) results indicate nerve root compression or pressure on the spinal cord, referred to as myelopathy, the individual could benefit from surgery.

The doc could take away some osteophytes, or projecting items of bone, and probably conjointly parts of a disc to require pressure off the nerve root or funiculus.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):-

How many ages does affected by cervical spondylosis? 

Over 85 % of people over the age of sixty are affected.

Which medicines are effective for cervical spondylosis? 

(Norco), (Fexmid), (Steroid injections), (Neurontin), (Voltaren-XR)

Which types of exercises can ease the symptoms of cervical spondylosis?

The name of exercises are given below:-
Neck stretch
Neck turn
Neck tilt
Neck tilt (side-to-side)


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