Cervical Spondylosis

cervical spondylosis




A type of arthritis affecting the cervical and the intervertebral discs of the spine, producing pain in the neck region.

The area, which are commonly affected by Cervical Spondylosis are from the fourth to seventh vertebral bones The discs present in between the two vertebrae loses height due to ageing or degeneration or sometimes due to injury.

It is common in middle-aged people.
Women are affected more than men.


  • aging of bones and joints
  • Trauma
  • incorrect posture of the body
  • Prolonged typing or writing with flexion of the neck aggravates the symptoms.
  • Occupational strain
  • Body type
  • Life style


  • Pain –tingling in nature
    Neck pain
    Shoulder pain
  • Muscle tightness: the muscles covering the regions like back of neck, shoulder, side of neck will be stiff and painful.
  • Referred pain


  • Special Test Neck Compression Test (Spurling’s Test) – This test is done by the doctor to confirm the presence of cervical spondylosis. The test is done while you are sitting on a chair, and the doctor extends your neck, turns and rotates the neck to the side where pain is present and he will carefully compresses your head by pressing gently. This may cause pain and sometimes giddiness if you have cervical spondylosis.
  • X-ray (Side of neck view)
    If cervical spondylosis is present, the x-ray features are as follows:
    There will be bony outgrowths at the margin of the joints.
    There will be reduced space between the vertebrae of neck.
    The opening between the bones will be narrowed.
  • MRI Scan
    The MRI features of a cervical spondylosis are as follows:
    Loss of normal curvature of neck
    Vertebral bone canal diameter is decrease
    Spinal canal is narrowed



  • Analgesics and muscle relaxants
  • If the medical treatment and physiotherapy fails, and the condition is severe, where the nerves are affected , surgery  may be required.. Decompression of the nerve is done to relieve the nerve which is compressed by the bones and the disc.



The goal of physiotherapy treatment is to relieve pain, and enhance movements of the neck.

  • Shortwave Diathermy – A disc or heating pad is placed over the back of the neck. The warmth obtained from the shortwave diathermy current relaxes the muscle and the pain is relieved.
  • Cervical Traction – Traction is a mechanical device, which supports the head and chin. It is used to relieve the nerve compression by a bone.
  • Posture correction – Simple postural exercises can be taught to correct the faulty position of the neck.
  • Motivation is given to maintain the erect posture:
  • Collars - Two types of collars can be prescribed:
    Soft Collar – Soft collar is used during night times to prevent awkward position of the neck during sleep.
    Firm Collar – Firm collar steadies the neck and relieve pain, especially during traveling or work. It is removed when the pain subsides.


Relaxation is essential part of treatment. Tension in neck and shoulder muscle, pain, anxiety are all relieved by relaxation.

Relaxation can be done in two ways:

  • Physical Relaxation.
  • Mental Relaxation.

Physical Relaxation:

The whole body is relaxed by free suitable and comfortable positions, so that the muscles are freed from tension and the pain is relieved. For eg., position of relaxation – when you are lying flat on your back.

  • One pillow under the head, one cushion for the shoulder and one under knees.
  • The pillow should be firm and thin.
  • This position will allow relaxation for your body while lying down.

Relaxation while sitting.

The head, neck and shoulder are supported by high backed chair, with a small pillow at lower back. Feet supported on stool or low bench, Arm, resting on arm of chair or pillow

Mental Relaxation:

Positive thinking and using imagination is the way of relaxing mentally. This type makes one feel better and breaks the pain cycle. Muscle tension, anxiety, loss of sleep and pain are all relieved by mental relaxation exercises like yoga.

Lifestyle Modifications

Some modifications in life style will help in over coming problems of cervical spondylosis. For example:-

  • Avoid any strain of neck and shoulder like reading and writing for long hours.
  • Avoid the use of very soft cushion bed and avoid using a very high pillow.


Ergonomics concentrates on the architectural design of furnitures like desk, chairs, tables etc. The design of the furniture should be such that it should support the body structure without causing any undue strain to the muscles of the back and neck .

Do’s and Dont’s
If you are prone to cervical spondylosis:

  • Avoid bad roads, if traveling by two or four wheelers
  • Do not sit for prolonged period of time in stressful postures
  • Do use firm collars while traveling
  • Do not lift heavy weights on head or back
  • Do not turn from your body but turn your body moving your feet first
  • Do turn to one side while getting up from lying down
  • Do the exercises prescribed regularly
  • Do use firm mattress, thin pillow or butterfly shaped pillow
  • Do not lie flat on your stomach.

DETAILED TREATMENT:- Kindly contact Physioline for the detailed assessment and treatment program which is individualised according to every patient.

Visit Physioline for further consultation and rehabilitation.