Cervical spondylosis is a degenerative disease
in which there is abnormal wear on the cartilage and bones of the neck
It is a common cause
of chronic neck pain. The fourth to seventh cervical
vertebrae are most commonly affected by these degenerative changes. Middle-aged people and women are more prone to cervical
bones in the neck begin to degenerate with aging. Disc degeneration (collapse,
of the disc spaces and loss of disc space height) and
bone spurs lead to cervical spondylosis. The disc space becomes narrow and
gradually compresses the nerve. In advanced cases of cervical spondylosis,
spinal cord is affected and may also lead to paralysis of the arm.
pain and stiffness resulting in limitation of movement; and numbness
or weakness in arms, hands, and fingers can be commonly seen in patients with
A thorough physical
examination, neck X-ray, MRI of the neck and EMG aid in the diagnosis.
with soft collars, pain management with NSAIDs or muscle relaxants, cervical
traction and physiotherapy prove to be efficacious in treating cervical
spondylosis. However, surgery is advised in cases of severe pain and nerve root
compression. Surgery for cervical spondylosis involves correction of the
degenerative pathologic entities that compress a nerve root or the spinal cord.