Cervical spondylosis is a condition that is caused by damage to the vertebrae of the neck and its cushions, thereby compressing the spinal nerves and causing general symptoms of neck, shoulder, and head pain. Cervical spondylosis is also known as cervical osteoarthritis or neck arthritis. Cervical spondylosis results from the aging process, but can be made worse by other factors.
When someone is aging, osteoarthritis is common, including the cervical vertebrae. Osteoarthritis of the neck will cause neck bone tissue damage and decreased function. The cervical vertebrae will try to repair the damaged tissue, but instead produce an abnormal bone structure that narrows the spinal canal. Bone bearings that function to protect the spinal nerves also experience thinning. Narrowing of the spinal canal and thinning of the bone cavity will cause the spinal cord to be depressed and function impaired.
Cervical spondylosis is most often found at the age of 40-60 years, and in men it can occur earlier than women. It is estimated that 90% of people over the age of 60 experience this problem. However, cervical spondylosis can also occur in young people due to other causes, usually due to a previous injury.
Cervical Spondylosis Symptoms
Cervical Spondylosis can result in narrowing of the spinal canal and compressing the spinal cord so that symptoms can appear, such as:
Stiff to the neck. Exacerbated neck pain when coughing or sneezing. Pain can spread to the head, shoulders, and arms. Tingling, stiffness, and weakness in the arms, hands, legs, and feet. Difficulty walking and difficulty coordinating movements. Involuntary movements appear on the arms.
However, cervical spondylosis can also cause no symptoms, if it does not compress the spinal cord. Maybe there will only appear pain and stiffness in the neck.
Cervical Spondylosis Causes
Cervical spondylosis mainly results from changes in structure and tissue damage in the spine and cervical vertebrae. Changes that occur can be either:
Dehydrated disc. The cervical vertebrae is a part of the spine that looks like a pillar with a segment. Between these segments filled by bone bearings. As we get older, these cushion will thin out due to reduced fluid in these pads. If these pads thin out, there will often be friction between the bones.
Herniated disc. As a result of aging, the cervical cavities can also experience cracking, thereby making these pads protrude and compress the spinal cord.
Bone spurs. In response to the thinning of the bone cavity, the cervical vertebrae will form additional tissue in an effort to maintain the integrity of the cervical vertebrae. This additional bone tissue can compress the spinal cord.
Stiff ligaments. Aging can also cause ligaments or connective tissue between the cervical vertebrae to become stiff and inflexible.
Cervical Spondylosis Diagnosis
At Cervical Spondylosis clinic, our spine specialist will be taking assessment for symptoms and checking neck movements or reflexes of the arms and legs to find out nerve damage due to narrowing of the spine. Our Cervical Spondylosis specialist may also conduct further tests if needed. Some other test include x-ray, MRI and blood test.
Cervical Spondylosis Treatments
Treatment for cervical spondylosis depends on the severity of the symptoms that are felt. If symptoms are still mild, you can take over-the-counter pain relievers. You can also compress a painful part of the neck with warm water or ice to reduce pain in the muscles, and use a neck brace or collar. However, the use of a neck brace should not be long-term, because it will weaken the neck muscles.
Other cervical spondylosis treatment include:
- Medication for cervical spondylosis –> Nerve regeneration, anti-inflammatory medication
- Physiotherapy for cervical spondylosis
- Injection for cervical spondylosis
- Surgery for cervical spondylosis if conservative treatments failed
Cervical Spondylosis Surgery
Generally the surgical procedure in cervical spondylosis cannot restore the patient’s condition to one hundred percent, but aims to prevent symptoms from worsening. Surgical procedures are usually done in cases of pain that cannot be overcome by any treatment, or there is an emphasis on the spinal cord which causes symptoms to continue to worsen.
Several types of surgeries can be performed, including a laminectomy procedure to remove a part of the spine (lamina) that compresses the spinal cord, as well as a discectomy procedure to remove the bone bearing that is experiencing problems and replace it with a replacement bone or metal plate.
Call us at 64762106 or SMS 84998384 for an appointment with our Cervical Spondylosis Specialist for further treatment plan.