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Osteoarthritis of the cervical spine

0 2 years ago

In short, cervical spondylosis means osteoarthritis of the cervical spine. As it progresses, signs of osteoarthritis develop, which include a bony spur and disc space narrowing.

As we age, the bones and cartilage that make up our cervical joint gradually develop wear and tear. These changes can include dehydrated disks.

Disks act like cushions between the vertebrae of your spine. By the age of 40, most people’s spinal disks begin drying out and shrinking, which allows more bone-on-bone contact between the vertebrae.

Age also affects the exterior of your spinal disks. Cracks often appear, leading to bulging (herniated) disks — which sometimes press on the spinal cord and nerve roots.

Disk degeneration often results in the spine producing extra amounts of bone in a misguided effort to strengthen the spine. These bone spurs can sometimes pinch the spinal cord and nerve roots.

Ligaments are cords of tissue that connect bone to bone. Spinal ligaments can also stiffen with age, making your neck less flexible.

WHO’S AT RISK?

Risk factors for cervical spondylosis include:

• Age — cervical spondylosis is a normal part of ageing.

• Occupation — jobs that involve repetitive neck motions, awkward positioning or a lot of overhead work put extra stress on your neck.


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