Cervical spondylosis is also called cervical osteoarthritis. It is a condition involving changes to the bones, discs, and joints of the neck. These changes are caused by the normal wear-and-tear of aging. With age, the discs of the cervical spine gradually break down, lose fluid, and become stiffer. Cervical spondylosis usually occurs in middle-aged and elderly people.

As a result of the degeneration of discs and other cartilage, spurs or abnormal growths called osteophytes may form on the bones in the neck. These abnormal growths can cause narrowing of the interior of the spinal column or in the openings where spinal nerves exit, a related condition called cervical spinal stenosis.



  • Most people with cervical spondylosis don’t have noticeable symptoms. If symptoms do occur, they can range from mild to severe and may develop gradually or occur suddenly.
  • One common symptom is pain around the shoulder blade. Patients will complain of pain along the arm and in the fingers. The pain might increase on standing sitting, sneezing, coughing, or backward tilting of the neck.
  • Another common symptom is muscle weakness. Muscle weakness makes it hard to lift the arms or hold objects firmly.

Other common signs include:

  • A Stiff neck that becomes worse
  • Headaches that mostly occur in the back of the head
  • Tingling or numbness that mainly affects shoulders and arms, although it can also occur in the legs