Symptoms Of Cervical Spondylosis

Cervical spondylosis is a condition in which the bones, joints, and discs in the neck go through a change, which happens as a result of age-related wear and tear. As you start to age, the discs that are located in the cervical spine start to break down and lose their fluid. As a result, they become stiff and cause pain, overall stiffness and discomfort.

Understanding the symptoms of cervical spondylosis will help you get the right care and treatment at the right time, and avoid permanent damage or disability. Here are some of the most common symptoms that could point towards cervical spondylosis.

1. Stiffness And Pain In The Neck

stiffness and pain in neck

This is one of the most common signs of cervical spondylosis. You may feel a nagging pain at all times around your neck, as well as feel some stiffness in the affected area. However, you will feel that the pain is most intense when you wake up in the morning or try to get up from a lying down position.

headache from neck

While most headaches start off around the temple area or the forehead, or even the crown area, if it is due to cervical spondylosis, it will start off at the base of the neck. Sometimes, massaging the area can give you some temporary comfort from the pain, but it will come back again and can actually come back with a much higher intensity.

3. Sensation In The Nose While Turning The Neck

sensation in nose

If you have severe pain in your neck, you can sometimes feel a sort of uncomfortable sensation in your nose when you turn the neck.

problem with walking

Those who suffer from cervical spondylitis often experience a lack of coordination, as a result of which there is a problem with balancing. In such cases, you will find it difficult to walk, or you may not be able to maintain your balance when you try to stand up from a sitting down position.

shoulder pain to neck pain

The pain that you feel due to cervical spondylosis will not be restricted to only your neck area. In many cases, it will also shift towards your shoulder as well as your arms.

6. Weakness In The Arms

weak arms

In cases where your spinal roots get compressed, you will feel severe pain in the neck area. This pain will then move on towards your head, arms or shoulders. In severe cases, the muscles in one or both of your hands could start becoming weak, and in some cases, it could also start making it difficult for you to perform routine tasks with ease.

are you at risk

The bones, joints, and discs that are around your neck area go through a lot of wear and tear, which often leads to the condition. However, there are certain situations that could put you at risk.

neck pain due to fall

One of the main factors that could put you at risk of cervical spondylosis is if you have suffered an injury to your neck area. This could be due to a fall or a sudden jerk in your neck while you are travelling.

neck pain from work

Some professions could require you to work in a position that adds extra pressure on your neck area. If you are always looking at a screen, it is possible that your neck becomes stiff. Make sure to do some stretching exercises while you are at work so that you can ease the tension and avoid any pressure or injury. If you lift heavy weights regularly as part of your exercise or even at work, it could put additional pressure on the spine and also put you at risk of cervical spondylosis. Make sure to do enough stretching exercises for the back and shoulders to avoid pain and pressure.

Aging is another natural factor that can increase your risk of cervical spondylosis. As you grow older, your bones and discs will suffer more and wear and tear. Your physiotherapist can suggest specific exercises that will help you strengthen the muscles of the neck area and prevent or prolong the damage. Additionally, you should also speak to your doctor and check about any tests that can help diagnose the condition and get you the right treatment at the earliest.

Doing certain types of exercises can help to strengthen the muscles and joints in the neck and shoulder area. Here are a few exercises you can try at home or even at your work place that will not only provide strength but also reduce pain if you are already suffering from the condition.

1. Neck Extension Exercise

Neck Extension Exercise

Sit on a chair and keep your spine erect. Take one hand towards the back of the head and place the palm at the base of your head, around your neck.

  • Start applying a gentle pressure so that your head moves slightly forward.
  • At the same time, apply an equal resistance with your head and neck and try to push the palm back, so that your head actually stays in the same position.
  • You should be able to feel the slight tug at the base of your head.

2. Side Bending Exercise

Side Bending Exercise

  • Sit on a chair and keep your spine erect. Take one hand and place the palm over your ear, so that it covers the ear.
  • Start applying a gentle pressure to the ear to try and move your head towards the side.
  • At the same time, apply an equal resistance with your head and neck and try to push the palm back towards the side, so that your head actually stays in the same position.
  • You should be able to feel the slight tug at the base of your head.

3. Neck Rotation Exercise

Neck Rotation Exercise

  • Sit on a chair and keep your spine erect. Slowly turn your head to one side till you comfortably can. You should feel a slight tug at the base of your head around the neck area.
  • Bring your head back to the original position. Now slowly turn your head to the other side till you feel the tug. Bring it back to the original position.
  • Relax. Repeat at least 10 to 12 times.

When To See The Doctor

If you notice any of the signs we mentioned above, do make sure to speak to your doctor. However, here are some warning signs that you should keep in mind and immediately get in touch with your doctor.

  • If you feel a tingling sensation or numbness in your shoulder, arms or legs.
  • When you suddenly have difficulty in controlling your bladder and end up passing urine involuntarily.
  • If you experience constant pain in your neck and shoulder area and it reaches an extent where it interferes with your daily life.

If not treated on time, cervical spondylosis can also lead to paralysis of all four limbs. Make sure you discuss your symptoms with your doctor and start regular physiotherapy sessions to take care of the same.