Cervical spondylosis is a common, age-related condition that affects the joints and discs in your cervical spine, which is in your neck. It’s also known as cervical osteoarthritis or neck arthritis.
It develops from the wear and tear of cartilage and bones. While it’s largely the result of age, it can be caused by other factors as well.
Some people who have it never experience symptoms. For others, it can cause chronic, severe pain and stiffness. However, many people who have it are able to conduct normal daily activities.
Neck pain may spread to the shoulders, arms and hands, and the base of the skull. Moving the head may make the pain worse.
Neck stiffness is more common after a long period of inactivity, for example, after sleeping.
Headaches tend to start at the back of the head and then gradually move to the upper half of the front.
Sometimes, these changes result in a compression of the blood vessels. This can affect the blood supply to the brain, possibly resulting in dizziness and even blackouts.
Other, less frequent, problems may include loss of bowel or bladder function and coordination difficulties.
Arms and legs may become weak, and there may be lack of dexterity. Some people may have dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing, if the bones press against the esophagus.