Cervical Spondylosis

Introduction

Cervical spondylosis is the medical term for neck pain caused by age-related ‘wear and tear’  to bones and tissues.
The most common symptoms of cervical spondylosis are neck pain, stiffness and headaches. More rarely, it can trap nerves in the neck, leading to:

  • Pain radiating from the arms
  • Pins and needles in the arms and legs
  • Loss of feeling in your hands and legs
  • Loss of co-ordination and difficulty walking

However, many people with cervical spondylosis experience no noticeable symptoms.

What causes cervical spondylosis?

As people get older, the effects of ageing and everyday use causes wear to the joints and tissues that make up the spine. For example, the discs of the spine can dry out and shrink, and the ligaments can stiffen. In all the body’s joints, there is a constant process of “wear and repair” happening, as the joints adapt to the stresses and strains of normal everyday life. Cervical spondylosis occurs when the balance of “wear and repair” is lost, leading to pain and stiffness in the neck.

Treating cervical spondylosis

In most cases, the symptoms of cervical spondylosis can be relieved using a combination of:

  • Medicines
  • Physiotherapy
  • Exercise – such as swimming and walking
  • Self care techniques – such as supporting your neck with a firm pillow at night
  • Epidural injection
  • Cervical facet joint RF abalation
  • In a small number of cases, surgery may be required to remove or repair a damaged section of the cervical spine.