How to Recognize Symptoms of Cervical Spondylosis

Written by denise stern
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Cervical spondylosis is a condition that affects the neck area of the spine. In most cases, individuals over 50 years of age begin to notice more neck pain, caused by problems that occur when vertebrae and disks alter in their density and strength. Wear and tear on joints usually causes some pain and discomfort in older individuals or those who have experienced bone or joint injuries when they were younger. Risk of cervical spondylosis increases in those who have been diagnosed with arthritis, osteoarthritis or those who experienced 'whiplash' injuries in the past. Cervical spondylosis affects the seven bones of the spinal column found in the neck, as well as the disks, blood vessels and nerves in the immediate area. Learning how to recognise symptoms of cervical spondylosis may encourage individuals to seek treatment before complications occur.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Pay attention to any growing pain or stiffness in the neck area, not caused by exercise. Pain from cervical spondylosis may also be felt in the shoulder blades, the back of the head and even the arms and hands if nerves or blood vessels are affected.

  2. 2

    Listen to your shoulder joints as you rotate them in a circle. You shouldn't hear anything. However, some individuals suffering from cervical spondylosis may hear a crunching or clicking noise when they move their neck or shoulder muscles.

  3. 3

    Experiencing pain, numbness or tingling in the arms or hands and fingers is a sign that either a blood vessel or a nerve is pinched or constricted. These are common side effects of cervical spondylosis that should not be ignored.

  4. 4

    Watch for any signs of muscle weakness, fatigue or trembling in the arms and hands. In many cases, it may be difficult for an individual to hold onto a gallon of milk or to pick up objects or to control arm movements.

  5. 5

    Pay attention to increasing headaches or dizziness that may be a sign of blood flow constriction to the head. Such symptoms may also present themselves in difficulty walking or keeping your balance.

Tips and warnings

  • If you experience any such symptoms, schedule a visit with your physician to determine a cause. Always take care to protect your head and back while engaging in sports, especially extreme sports.
  • Left untreated, cervical spondylosis may lead to chronic neck pain or limited movement of the head and shoulders. Don't wait for symtpoms to get worse. Schedule a visit with your doctor at the first indication that something might be wrong.

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