Cervical spondylosis is a condition that involves wear and tear of the cartilage (intervertebral discs) of the neck. This is a common cause of ongoing and persistent neck pain and discomfort. Wear and tear is something that we will all experience, however some will be affected more than others. Other names for cervical spondylosis are neck arthritis, osteoarthritis in the neck and degenerative disc disease. Over time our cartilage in the neck can begin to deteriorate and break down. As this occurs, our neck intervertebral discs become thinner and start to lose the ability to support the weight and pressures of moving the he. As this occurs, the intervertebral discs develop tears in the cartilage and this leads to disc bulging and herniations in the neck. People with cervical spondylosis are usually over the age of 50 with most people over 60 showing some degree of change. The most notable risk factors for cervical spondylosis would include being overweight, not exercising (this is how we feed our discs), previous neck injury, ruptured or slipped disc, and osteoporosis.
Symptoms of cervical spondylosis
Cervical (neck) spondylosis is caused by wear and tear. Neck wear and tear doesn’t just occur over the space of a day, it takes a long time. Because of this neck spondylosis develops slowly over time. Symptoms will involve neck pain, neck stiffness and neck discomfort. Neck pain and discomfort is typically worse sitting, at night, coughing or sneezing or extending the neck. Headaches are common with cervical spondylosis. If the cervical spondylosis leads to a disc bulge or disc herniation this can protrude into a nerve or spinal cord and create neurological symptoms, along with neck pain.
Treatment of cervical spondylosis
Treatment of cervical spondylosis is very successful with chiropractic and physiotherapy. At Sydney Spine & Sports Centre (S3C) Balmain and Dee Why this will involve a combination of joint treatments, muscle treatments and strengthening exercises. In most cases chiropractic and physiotherapy will be enough to get you pain free and back to full function. In some people where there is considerable wear and tear or complications with disc herniations our chiropractors and physiotherapists may send you for a surgical opinion however this would be rare.