Cervical spondylosis, common for office workers, is a degeneration of the cervical intervertebral disc, or secondary degeneration of intervertebral joint. It is a general term for age-related wear and tear affecting the spinal disks in the neck. As the disks dehydrate and shrink, signs of osteoarthritis develop, including bony projections along the edges of the bones.

Cervical spondylosis is very common and worsens with age. More than 85 percent of people older than age 60 are affected by cervical spondylosis.

Most people experience no symptoms from these problems, but when they occur, nonsurgical treatments are supportive.



For most people cervical spondylosis causes no symptoms. When they do occur, they typically include pain and stiffness in the neck.

Sometimes, cervical spondylosis results in a narrowing of the space needed by the spinal cord and the nerve roots that pass through the spine to the rest of the body. If the spinal cord or nerve roots become pinched, there may be symptoms like:

  • Tingling, numbness and weakness in the arms, hands, legs or feet,
  • Lack of coordination and difficulty walking,
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control.



With age, the bones and cartilage that make up the backbone and neck gradually wear out and tear. These changes can include dehydrated disks, herniated disks, bone spurs and stiff ligaments.


Risk factors

Risk factors for cervical spondylosis include:

  • Age. Cervical spondylosis is a normal part of aging.
  • Occupation. Jobs that involve repetitive neck motions, awkward positioning or a lot of overhead work put extra stress on the neck.
  • Neck injuries. Previous neck injuries appear to increase the risk of cervical spondylosis.
  • Genetic factors. Some individuals in certain families will experience more of these changes over time, while others will not.
  • Smoking. Smoking has been linked to increased neck pain.



If the spinal cord or nerve roots become severely compressed as a result of cervical spondylosis, the damage can be permanent.



Treatment for cervical spondylosis depends on the severity of the signs and symptoms. The goal of treatment is to relieve pain, help the patient maintain the usual activities as much as possible, and prevent permanent injury to the spinal cord and nerves.

Pain relievers usually help, but also nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroids, muscle relaxants, anti-seizure medications, antidepressants and pain relievers.

A physical therapist can help with exercises to help stretch and strengthen the muscles in the neck and shoulders. Some people with cervical spondylosis benefit from the use of traction, which can help provide more space within the spine if nerve roots are being pinched.

Acupuncture may also reduce the pain.

If conservative treatment fails or if the neurological signs and symptoms (weakness in the arms or legs)  worsen, surgery may be needed to create more room for the spinal cord and nerve roots.

The surgery might remove a herniated disk or bone spurs, removing part of a vertebra or fuse a segment of the neck using bone graft and hardware.



To prevent cervical spondylosis, pay attention to the correct position of the head, shoulders and back and keep the spine straight.

  • Lean back the head during the work and rest the cervical vertebra. Move neck and shoulder muscle timed as far as possible,
  • Keep the neck and shoulder warm and avoid the head or neck loading heavy things,
  • Go swimming because it is a relaxing exercise for cervical vertebra.