Cervical spondylosis refers to various forms of degeneration in the cervical spine (neck) that accompany the natural aging process, such as spinal osteoarthritis or degenerative disc disease. It is especially common after the age of 50.
Spondylosis occurs when the soft tissues in the spine, such as the discs, tendons, muscles, ligaments, and the cartilage that lines the facet joints, naturally deteriorate over time. It is common is the cervical spine, mainly because neck vertebrae are highly mobile and support the weight of the head.
The onset of cervical spondylosis occurs gradually over time and the symptoms include:
- Stiffness and pain in the neck and shoulders, especially upon waking
- Loss of coordination and slow reflexes
- Muscle weakness
- Tingling or numbness in the arms, hands, or shoulders
To make an accurate diagnosis of spondylosis, one of Lancaster Orthopedic Group’s cervical spine specialists will perform a physical exam. You may also need to have an X-ray, CT scan or MRI to help identify any problems with discs, ligaments, or nerve roots.
Treatment for cervical spondylosis will vary depending on the severity of the condition. For most patients, conservative treatments such as heat and ice therapy, behavior modification, low-impact exercises, and pain and anti-inflammatory medications will relieve symptoms and increase mobility.
If your symptoms persist and are debilitating, surgery may be recommended.