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Cervical Spondylosis

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Updated November 28, 2007


Cervical spondylosis is a degenerative condition involving the vertebrae and discs of the neck. It is also known as cervical osteoarthritis, a condition that occurs in both males and females usually after the age of forty. With age, the discs between the vertebrae begin to loose water and thus their height. This results in collapse of the disc with the tendency of them to bulge inward and outward against the ligaments of the spine. The mechanical stress placed on the ligaments by the bulging discs cause the formation of bone spurs.

Symptoms of cervical spondylosis include:
-Arm, hand, or finger weakness
-Neck pain that radiates down the arm
-Headaches

Treatment options for cervical spondylosis include neck immobilization, pharmacologic treatments, lifestyle modifications, and physical therapy. Commonly utilized pharmagologic management of this disorder includes the use of NSAIDs, tricyclic antidepressants, and steroids. Physical therapy management of cervical spondylosis includes isometric neck strengthening exercises as well as gentle stretching. Modalities such as cervical traction and manual manipulation are also helpful.

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