What is Cervical Spondylosis?

Cervical Spondylosis is an umbrella term for a series of degenerative conditions that can affect neck movement and the function of the neck (cervical spine). Cervical Spondylosis can be confused with a Herniated Cervical Disc or Ankylosing Spondylitis. Examples of cervical spondylosis include; narrowing of the cervical spinal canal, cervical osteoarthritis, trauma, and wearing of the spinal discs. Cervical Spondylosis or cervical osteoarthritis is characterised by osteoarthritic growth to the facet joints – the joints in your neck and back that allow you to bend – resulting in osteophyte formation, sometimes known as bone spurs. This arthritic growth causes narrowing of the intervertebral disc space and may lead to symptoms such as pins and needles/tingling or numbness in the neck, shoulders and hands. Cervical Spondylosis is part of the normal aging process, so it is most common in seniors. However, younger people may suffer from this condition as a result of repetitive strains/sprains on the cervical spine or repetitive trauma of the cervical spine.

The causes of cervical spondylosis mainly involve osteophytic changes or formation, also known as bone spurs around the facet joints of the cervical spine. As we move our neck in different directions, such as flexion, extension, side bending or rotation, the arthritic growth/ bone spurs causes narrowing of the intervertebral disc space and possibly leads to symptoms such as pins and needles/tingling or numbness in the neck, shoulders and hands. The condition can lead to cervicogenic headaches, which is a band-like pain originating form the back of the head behind the eyes and spreads down to the top, forehead and temple region. You can read more on cervicogenic headaches here. This type of headache can induce nausea, irritability and poor concentration in patients. Patients should take note of the overall reduction in range of motion of the neck as well.

Depending on the cause of the condition, symptoms can include numbing, tingling, sharp or dull pain. Other symptoms may include pain in the neck that may travel to your arms or shoulders, headaches, a grinding feeling when you move your neck, weakness in your arms and legs, numbness in your shoulders, arms, or hands, stiffness in the neck, trouble keeping your balance, and even occasionally trouble controlling your bladder or bowels.

Does this sound like a condition you’re suffering from? We offer services that can aid in your recovery!

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Kazeminasab, S, Nejadghaderi, SA, Amiri, P, Pourfathi, H, Araj-Khodaei, M, Sullman, MJM, Kolahi, A-A, & Safiri, S, 2022,, ‘Neck pain: global epidemiology, trends and risk factors’, BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, vol. 23, no. 1, pp. 26–26, doi: 10.1186/s12891-021-04957-4.

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