Cervical spondylosis, also known as cervical osteoarthritis or cervical spondylarthrosis is a result of degeneration of the bones, discs and joints of the neck. Degeneration occurs as a natural process of wear and tear in our body with ageing.
A few changes that maybe seen in the spine with cervical spondylosis are:
- Discs that are present between the adjacent vertebra in the spine tend to loose water content and shrink. This loss of cushioning effect leads to rubbing of the vertebrae on each other. In addition to this, as the space between the vertebrae narrows, it impinges on the nerve root emerging from the spine. This is known as spinal or foraminal stenosis.
- As the discs dry up there are cracks that appear in the outer part of the disc, leading to herniation or bulging of the disc. This can also lead to compression of the spinal cord and nerve roots, if left unchecked.
- Spinal nerves can also get compressed from formation of osteophytes in the spine. Osteophytes are abnormal bony growths that occurs as the body attempts to stabilise the degenerated joint.
- Spinal ligaments can stiffen, making the spine less flexible. This leads to lack of movement and thus further degeneration of the spine.
You may be suffering from cervical spondylosis if you have these 5 signs:
- Neck pain and/or stiffness. The pain increases with neck movement and decreases with rest.
- Grinding sound in the neck on movement.
- Weakness in the muscles of the upper limb, especially if cervical spondylosis has been present for a long time.
- Tingling numbness or heaviness or achy pain in the upper limbs and/or the shoulder blades.
- Headaches that originate in the back of the neck and gradually moves to the back and side of the head. This may be accompanied by dizziness and/or nausea.
Here are some easy tips to help you to reduce the severity or symptoms of cervical spondylosis:
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