What are the treatments for cervical spondylosis?

What is cervical spondylosis?

Cervical spondylosis is a cause of neck pain. It tends to develop after the age of 30, and becomes more common with increasing age. The underlying cause is the age-related degeneration ('wear & tear') of the vertebrae and discs in the neck region.

To an extent, we all develop a degree of degeneration in the vertebrae and discs as we become older. However, cervical Collar is a term used if the degree of degeneration is more severe, and causes more symptoms, than is expected for a given age.

As the 'discs' degenerate, over many years they become thinner. Sometimes the vertebrae develop small, rough areas of bone on their edges. The nearby muscles, ligaments, and nerves may become irritated by these degenerative changes which can cause troublesome symptoms.
What are the symptoms of cervical spondylosis

Symptoms can vary from mild to severe. You may have a flare up of symptoms if you over-use your neck, or if you sprain a neck muscle or ligament. Symptoms include:

* Pain in the neck. This may spread to the base of the skull and shoulders. Movement of the neck may make the pain worse. The pain sometimes spreads down an arm to a hand or fingers. This is caused by irritation of a nerve which goes to the arm from the spinal cord in the neck. The pain tends to wax and wane with flare-ups from time to time. However, some people develop chronic (persistent) pain.
* Some neck stiffness, particularly after a night's rest.
* Headaches from time to time. The headaches often start at the back of the head just above the neck and travel over the top to the forehead.
* Numbness, pins and needles or weakness may occur in part of the arm or hand. Tell a doctor if these symptoms occur as they may indicate a problem with a 'trapped nerve'.

What are the treatments for cervical spondylosis?

Exercise your neck and keep active
Aim to keep your neck moving as normally as possible. As far as possible, continue with normal activities. In the past, some people have worn a neck collar for long periods when a flare-up of neck pain developed. It is now known that if you wear a collar for long periods it may cause the neck to 'stiffen up'. Therefore, try to keep your neck as active as possible.

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