Cervical Spondylosis (Neck Arthritis)
Arthritis or Cervical Spondylosis is a degenerative condition of the neck that affects the discs and facet joints. It is a condition that develops from the wear-and-tear effects of aging. Cervical spondylosis can be seen on x-ray in most older adults. It usually causes no symptoms. However, in some patients, cervical spondylosis can cause neck pain. In more serious cases, cervical spondylosis can lead to compression and injury of the cervical nerves or the spinal cord, causing arm pain, numbness, and/or weakness (cervical radiculopathy or cervical myelopathy).
As we age, our spinal discs lose water content and degenerate, leading to disc space narrowing and bulging. The facet joints in the neck also degenerate, leading to joint space narrowing. Bone spurs can arise from the discs and joints that degenerate. Genetic predisposition and smoking increase the risk of developing pain from cervical spondylosis.
- Neck and/or shoulder pain
- Neck stiffness
Neck pain from cervical spondylosis is usually treated by over-the-counter pain medications and physical therapy.