What Are the Basics of Cervical Spondylosis?

What is cervical spondylosis?

Cervical spondylosis is also known as cervical osteoarthritis or neck arthritis. It refers to age-related wear and tear of cartilage and bones, which affects the spinal disks in your neck. Cervical spondylosis is very common in middle-aged and elderly people.

What are the symptoms of cervical spondylosis?

The common symptoms include:

  • Pain around the shoulder blade.
  • A headache occurs in the back of the head.
  • Tingling, numbness and weakness in the arms, hands, legs or feet.

What is the treatment for cervical spondylosis?

Treatments for cervical spondylosis depend on many factors, such as your overall health, the severity of the symptoms and your preference. In general, the common treatments include medication, therapy and surgery.

Medication

  • Pain medications.
  • Corticosteroids.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • Muscle relaxants, such as cyclobenzaprine.
  • Anti-seizure medications, such as gabapentin (Neurontin, Horizant) and pregabalin (Lyrica).

Therapy

  • Traction.
  • Exercises that can stretch and strengthen the muscles in the neck and shoulders.

Surgery

People with severe cervical spondylosis may need a surgery to create more space for their spinal cord and nerve roots. The surgery may include:

  • Remove bone spurs.
  • Remove part of a vertebra.
  • Remove a herniated disk.
  • Fuse a segment of the neck.

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