Understanding Cervical Spondylosis

Cervical spondylosis is the normal deterioration of your neck’s cartilage, disks, ligaments, and bones. The most common symptoms are neck stiffness or discomfort. The first therapies to be investigated include physical therapy, ice, heat, massage, a soft collar, and medications. Injections or surgery treat more serious situations, such as bone spurs, a herniated disk, or pinched nerves. To learn more, consult arlington cervical spine specialists today. 

What is cervical spondylosis?

The term cervical spondylosis is given to age-related wear and tear in the cervical spine (neck), which can cause neck soreness, stiffness, and other symptoms. This ailment is also known as neck arthritis or osteoarthritis.

What are the different sections of the cervical spine?

Your spine is made up of 24 vertebrae (spinal bones). The cervical spine is made up of seven vertebrae that begin at the base of the skull and work their way up. The spinal cord and its nerves go through an aperture in the vertebral column. The nerves and spinal cord transmit information from the brain to the rest of the body, including muscles and organs. There are disks between each vertebra. The disks serve as the body’s shock absorbers. The disks are constructed of flexible yet robust connective tissue filled with a gel-like substance. Disks are “jelly-filled, cushy doughnuts” that sit between each spine.

There are three joints between each pair of vertebrae. The front joint is referred to as the intervertebral disk. Facet joints are two joints in the rear of the spine. Cartilage, which cushions the ends of bones, is found within every joint. Ligaments are soft tissue bands that link the vertebrae.

Spondylosis is the normal deterioration of these vertebrae. Cartilage deteriorates with time, disks lose volume and become cracked and dry, ligaments tighten, and bone spurs form when bones press against one another in areas where cartilage no longer exists. Spondylosis refers to all of these alterations.

Is cervical spondylosis common? 

Spinal changes are considered a typical aspect of aging. This spine degradation often occurs in your 30s. By the age of 60, roughly nine out of 10 people have cervical spondylosis.

What factors contribute to cervical spondylosis?

Your spine changes as you age, owing to decades of regular wear and tear. The disks between your vertebrae begin to deteriorate in middle age. These modifications may include:

  • Herniation 

Normal aging might result in a portion of your spinal disk tearing or cracking. This is known as a herniated disk. Because of the herniation, the disk might expand, pushing on adjacent tissue or a spinal nerve. Pain, tingling, or numbness may result from this pressure.

  • Degeneration 

Your neck’s spinal disks may gradually degrade (degenerate). With time, the disks narrow and the soft tissue loses its flexibility. If you or your family are a little lower in height than you were years ago, this is due to natural disk collapse or settling. 

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