Understanding Cervical Spondylosis: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

Spine Pain

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Commonly affecting the joints and discs in the cervical spine, which is located in the neck, cervical spondylosis is sometimes referred to as cervical osteoarthritis or neck arthritis. It is a degenerative disorder marked by gradual deterioration of the cervical spine’s bones and cartilage. A variety of symptoms, from little discomfort to severe pain and neurological problems, can be brought on by this illness. It is crucial to comprehend cervical spondylosis causes, symptoms, and available treatments in order to manage and lessen the condition’s impacts.

Causes of Cervical Spondylosis

Ageing is the main cause of cervical spondylosis. The cervical spine’s discs gradually lose water content and lose their flexibility as people age, which causes degeneration. The discs may shrink as a result of this process, increasing the friction between the vertebrae. Additional elements that contribute are as follows:

  1. Bone Spurs: Over time, the body may produce extra bone to strengthen the spine. These bone spurs can compress the spinal cord and nerves, causing pain.
  2. Herniated Discs: Degeneration can lead to cracks in the discs, allowing the inner material to protrude, which may press on the spinal cord or nerves.
  3. Ligament Stiffening: As we age, our spine’s ligaments may become more rigid, which reduces neck flexibility and increases pain sensitivity.
  4. Genetics: Cervical spondylosis risk may be elevated in families with a history of arthritis or neck pain.
  5. Occupation: Heavy lifting and repetitive neck motions are two jobs that might aggravate cervical spine strain.

Symptoms of Cervical Spondylosis

Cervical spondylosis symptoms can range greatly in severity from moderate to severe. Typical signs and symptoms include of:

  1. Neck Pain and Stiffness: The most typical symptoms are persistent neck pain and stiffness. Certain motions or extended periods of inactivity may make the pain worse.
  2. Headaches: The back of the head frequently feels pain that originates in the neck.
  3. Shoulder and Arm Pain: Pain that radiates to the hands, arms, or shoulders is frequently accompanied by numbness or tingling.
  4. Weakness: Hand and arm muscles might become weak in certain people.
  5. Loss of Balance: Severe spinal cord compression may have an impact on balance and coordination.


Imaging tests and physical examinations are used to diagnose cervical spondylosis. The muscles, reflexes, and range of motion will all be evaluated by a medical professional. Imaging studies that identify bone spurs, disc degeneration, and other abnormalities in the cervical spine include X-rays, CT (Computed Tomography) scans, and MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scans.

Treatment for Cervical Spondylosis in Singapore

Treatment for cervical spondylosis focuses on relieving pain, improving mobility, and preventing further damage. Options include:

  1. Medication: NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), muscle relaxants, and corticosteroid injections are examples of pain medications that can help control symptoms.
  2. Physical therapy: Neck stretches and exercises help lessen pain, prevent future deterioration, and increase neck flexibility and strength.
  3. Heat and Cold Therapy: The affected area can be made more comfortable and less inflammatory by applying heat or cold.
  4. Lifestyle modifications: Maintaining excellent posture, utilising supportive pillows, and avoiding neck-straining activities can all help to alleviate symptoms.
  5. Surgery: In extreme situations when conservative therapy have failed, surgical alternatives such as decompression surgery or spinal fusion may be considered to relieve pressure on the spinal cord or nerves.


Although growing older is an unavoidable risk factor, some lifestyle modifications might help lower the chance of getting cervical spondylosis or slow the condition’s progression:

  1. Regular Exercise: Maintaining flexibility and supporting the spine can be achieved by strengthening the back and neck muscles through regular exercise.
  2. Ergonomic Adjustments: You can reduce neck pain by choosing supportive furniture and making sure your workstations are ergonomically correct.
  3. Healthy Diet: Bone health is supported by a diet high in calcium and vitamin D.
  4. Avoid Smoking: Smoking lowers blood flow to the discs, which speeds up spinal deterioration.


The common ailment cervical spondylosis can have a major effect on one’s quality of life. Managing symptoms and averting consequences need early detection and intervention. People with cervical spondylosis can have active, satisfying lives if they receive the right medical attention and modify their lifestyle. It is imperative that you seek medical attention if you have chronic neck pain or other associated symptoms in order to receive an accurate diagnosis and customised treatment plan.

Cervical Spondylosis FAQ

Ageing and persistent strain on the cervical spine damage the discs between the neck vertebrae and the joints connecting the cervical spine bones, which results in cervical spondylosis. Unusual bone growths or spurs on the vertebrae may also be a part of it.
Although cervical spondylosis cannot be cured, medical professionals can prevent it from getting worse. Additionally, there are steps you can take to safeguard your neck.
In some cases, cervical spondylosis can cause a constriction of the space needed for the spinal cord or nerve roots. This can produce symptoms such as numbness and weakness in the arms, hands, and fingers, difficulty walking, loss of balance, weakness in the hands or legs, and muscular spasms in the neck and shoulders.
Mild cervical spondylosis may improve with regular exercise. Staying active can aid in faster recovery, even if you need to adjust your exercises temporarily due to neck pain. Daily walking has been shown to reduce the likelihood of experiencing neck and lower back pain.


If you would like an appointment / review with our cervical spondylosis specialist in Singapore, the best way is to call +65 3135 1327 or click here to book an appointment at the clinic. If you would like to speak to one of our clinicians first, then please contact contact@orthopaedicclinic.com.sg or SMS/WhatsApp to +65 3135 1327.

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