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).

X-ray of a neck with spondylosis.Causes

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.

Schedule an Appointment

Please call 984-974-6800 to schedule an imaging appointment at the UNC Hospitals Imaging Center or 984-974-4200 to schedule a clinic appointment at the UNC Hospitals Spine Center.  Referrals are not necessary

Fax: 984-974-6740

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