Cervical Spondylosis: Causes, Risk Factors, and Symptoms


September 20, 2022

Cervical spondylosis refers to the natural wear down of ligaments, disks, cartilages, and bones in the neck. This condition is age-related and affects most people older than 60 years. However, many patients start experiencing symptoms in their late 40s. Here is more information on the causes of this condition, risk factors, and the common signs.

The Causes of Cervical Spondylosis

Aging causes wear and tear on the spine, affecting the structure of your cervical vertebrae. One change that may occur as you get older, triggering cervical spondylosis, is degeneration. This refers to when spinal discs slowly wear out and become thinner. 

Other changes that may lead to cervical spondylosis are:

  • Bone spurs- Abnormal bone growth along the vertebrae edges
  • Dehydrates disks- Reduced fluid in vertebrae disks
  • Stiff ligaments- Lower ligament flexibility due to cartilage thinning and decreased lubrication fluid

Another issue that may contribute is disc herniation. As you grow older, parts of the spinal disc may tear or crack. This issue causes them to bulge and press nearby spinal nerves or tissue.

Risk Factors

While age is the primary risk factor, some issues can increase the possibility of getting this condition. For instance, if you strain your neck regularly when working, you are more likely to experience cervical spondylosis symptoms.

Other issues that increase your risk for this condition are:

  • Previous neck injuries
  • Smoking cigarettes
  • The lack of physical exercise
  • Obesity

Some genetic factors affecting bone development can also make you more prone to cervical spondylosis.

The Symptoms of Cervical Spondylosis

Most people with cervical spondylosis may not experience any symptoms. However, if signs occur, they mainly affect the neck. 

Muscle spasms are a prevalent sign of this condition. You may also experience stiffness or chronic pain in the neck, which worsens when you move your head.

Other common symptoms of cervical spondylosis are:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Grinding or popping sound when you move the neck

Cervical spondylosis can cause the spinal canal to narrow. The limited space will then increase pressure on the spinal cord, resulting in pinched nerve roots. If this issue occurs, you will likely notice significant symptoms. For example, your hands, legs, arms, and feet may feel weak or numb. You could also experience a tingling sensation in various body parts.

Other signs you might notice if you have a pinched nerve triggered by cervical spondylosis are:

  • The loss of bowel or bladder control
  • Reduced muscle coordination
  • Difficulty walking

Find Relief at Southeast Pain & Spine Care

Cervical spondylosis can affect your lifestyle by causing chronic pain and discomfort. At Southeast Pain & Spine Care, we will help you relieve the effects of this condition. 

Our board-certified physicians offer non-surgical treatment for cervical spondylosis. With our assistance, you can manage chronic pain and avoid surgery. Contact us today or fill out the form below for a consultation.

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