Cervical Spondylosis Symptoms and Causes

Cervical spondylosis is a degenerative condition that affects the cervical spine, which is located in the neck region. It is also commonly referred to as neck arthritis or cervical osteoarthritis. This condition occurs due to the natural wear and tear of the bones (vertebrae) and intervertebral discs in the cervical spine as people age.

Over time, the protective cartilage that cushions the joints between the vertebrae starts to break down, leading to the formation of bone spurs (osteophytes) and a decrease in the space between the vertebrae. This can result in pressure on the spinal nerves and spinal cord, causing a range of symptoms such as neck pain, stiffness, headaches, muscle weakness, numbness, and tingling in the arms and hands.

Symptoms 

When symptoms do occur, they are typically accompanied by neck pain and stiffness. Cervical spondylosis causes no symptoms in most people. The spinal cord and nerve roots that pass through the spine to the rest of your body can become compressed by cervical spondylosis. You might experience symptoms such as:

Here is a list of evidence-based symptoms associated with cervical spondylosis:

Neck pain and stiffness

One of the most common symptoms of cervical spondylosis is pain and stiffness in the neck, which may worsen with activity or prolonged periods of inactivity.

Occipital headaches

Headaches that originate at the base of the skull and radiate towards the forehead are another common symptom of cervical spondylosis.

Muscle weakness

As the condition progresses, it may lead to muscle weakness in the shoulders, arms, and hands.

Numbness and tingling

Cervical spondylosis can cause numbness, tingling, or a “pins and needles” sensation in the shoulders, arms, and fingers due to compression of the spinal nerves.

Reduced range of motion

The neck may become less flexible, making it difficult to turn the head or bend the neck.

Balance and coordination problems

In more severe cases, cervical spondylosis can affect the spinal cord and lead to problems with balance and coordination.

Loss of bladder or bowel control

In very rare cases, severe cervical spondylosis with spinal cord compression can cause loss of bladder or bowel control, which requires immediate medical attention.

Read more: What’s Behind Your Headache? A Deep Dive into Causes and Triggers

Causes

Dehydrated disks

Cervical spondylosis is a condition that is caused by dehydration of the disks in the cervical spine. This can lead to a narrowing of the space between the vertebrae, and can cause pain and other symptoms. The condition is often treated with medications and physical therapy.

Herniated disks

Cervical spondylosis is a condition that is caused by herniated disks. The disks are the soft cushions between the vertebrae in the spine. When they herniate, or bulge out, they can put pressure on the nerves in the neck. This can cause pain, numbness, and tingling in the arm and hand. Cervical spondylosis can also lead to a loss of movement in the neck.

Bone spurs

Cervical spondylosis is a condition that is caused by the development of bone spurs on the cervical spine. These bone spurs can cause pain and stiffness in the neck, and they can also limit the range of motion in the neck. Cervical spondylosis is a relatively common condition, and it can usually be treated with conservative measures such as medication and physical therapy. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the bone spurs.

Stiff ligaments

Cervical spondylosis is a condition that results from the stiffening of the ligaments in the neck. This condition can lead to a narrowing of the spaces within the spine, which can then put pressure on the spinal cord and other tissues in the neck. This pressure can cause pain, numbness, and tingling in the arms and hands. Cervical spondylosis can also lead to weakness in the arms and hands.

Read more: The best treatment of PLID/ Disc herniation / Disc prolapse in Bangladesh

Risk factors

Risk factors for cervical spondylosis include:

Age

Cervical spondylosis is a degenerative condition affecting the cervical spine, typically due to aging. The discs and vertebrae in the cervical spine can wear down over time, which can lead to pain, numbness, and tingling in the neck and arms.

Occupation

Cervical spondylosis is a degenerative condition of the cervical spine. It can be due to occupation, as in cases where people have to lift and carry heavy loads for long periods of time. However, it can also develop spontaneously in people who do not have any particularly strenuous occupations.

Neck injuries

The most common cause of cervical spondylosis is injuries to the neck, such as whiplash. This can lead to wear and tear on the discs and joints in the neck, which can cause pain and other symptoms.

Genetic factors

Genetic factors may play a role in the development of cervical spondylosis, as individuals with a family history of the condition may be more susceptible. Certain genetic predispositions can influence the rate of degeneration in the cervical spine, making some individuals more prone to experiencing symptoms and complications related to the condition.

Smoking

Cervical spondylosis is a type of arthritis that affects the cervical spine, or neck. It is also caused by smoking, which leads to the breakdown of cartilage in the neck joints. This can cause pain and stiffness in the neck, and may lead to a loss of movement.

At the end, cervical spondylosis is a common condition that can cause a number of symptoms. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms associated with cervical spondylosis, it is important to see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

FAQ’s

  1. Cervical spondylosis: What is it?

    A degenerative disorder affecting the cervical spine in the neck area is called cervical spondylosis. Due to normal aging, the wear and tear of the bones and intervertebral discs in the cervical spine, it is also known as neck arthritis or cervical osteoarthritis.

  2. What typical signs and symptoms of cervical spondylosis are there?

    Neck pain and stiffness, occipital headaches, muscle weakness in the shoulders and arms, numbness and tingling in the shoulders, arms, and fingers, decreased neck flexibility, balance and coordination issues, and in rare instances, loss of bladder or bowel control are some of the symptoms of cervical spondylosis that are common.

  3. How is cervical spine degeneration identified?

    A physical examination and a review of your medical history are often used by a healthcare provider to make the diagnosis of cervical spondylosis. To determine the severity of the problem and rule out other sources of symptoms, imaging procedures like X-rays, MRIs, or CT scans may be prescribed.

  4. What cervical spondylosis therapy options are available?

    Conservative therapies including painkillers, anti-inflammatories, physical therapy, and lifestyle changes are often used to treat cervical spondylosis. Surgery may be an option to relieve pressure on the spinal cord and nerves in more severe instances or when conservative therapy is ineffective.

  5. Is there a cure for cervical spondylosis?

    Since cervical spondylosis is a degenerative disorder, there is no treatment. But with the right care, the condition’s symptoms may be lessened and the quality of life for people who are afflicted can be raised.

  6. Can altering one’s way of life assist manage cervical spondylosis?

    The advancement of cervical spondylosis may be slowed down and various lifestyle adjustments can help control symptoms. Maintaining a healthy weight, exercising often with an emphasis on stretching and strengthening the neck and upper back, adopting excellent posture, employing ergonomic furniture, and quitting smoking are a few examples of these modifications.

  7. Can someone with cervical spondylosis still work?

    Many individuals with cervical spondylosis are still able to work, however depending on the severity of the problem and the sort of job you perform, adjustments can be required. To decide the best course of action for managing your illness at work, it is crucial to discuss your unique circumstances with your healthcare physician.

  8. Is cervical spondylosis a commonly occurring illness?

    Cervical spondylosis is a prevalent disease, especially in elderly people. More than 85% of adults over 60 are thought to have cervical spondylosis to some extent. But not everyone who has the illness exhibits symptoms or needs medical attention.

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