Cervical Issues: Symptoms and treatment

What are Cervical issues?

Cervical issues are mainly caused by cervical spondylosis, which occurs because of age-related wear and tear. This affects the spinal discs of the neck, which eventually dehydrate and shrink. It leads to osteoarthritis, in which bony projections appear along the bone edges.

Common symptoms of cervical issues

Generally, most people do not experience any symptoms when they have cervical spondylosis. But when it occurs, it is in the form of neck pain and stiffness. The spinal canal within the spinal bone might narrow, pinching the nerve roots and causing the following symptoms:

  • Experiencing tingling sensations in the hands, legs, and arms.
  • Problems in coordinating and walking.
  • Lack of control over the bladder or bowel 

What causes Cervical issues?

Cervical spondylosis usually happens because of the following reasons:

  • With age, especially upon reaching 40 years of age, the discs in the spinal cord dry out and shrink, leading to higher contact between the bones.
  • When cracks appear on the outer part of the spinal discs, the soft interior portion can get squeezed. This presses on the spinal cord and roots.
  • With the breakdown of bone, the body starts producing extra bone to keep the spine strong. But this happens in a misguided manner and is known as bone spurs, which pinch the spinal cord and nerve roots. 
  • Age causes the spinal ligaments to get stiff, which reduces the flexibility of the neck.

When should I see a doctor?

In case you feel some sort of sudden weakness or numbness in or lose control of the bladder or bowel, it's time to check with the doctor for any cervical issues.


There are two types of treatment for cervical spondylosis:

i. Non-surgical methods:

  • This includes a recommendation of certain exercises by the concerned doctor for pain relief and revitalising the strained muscles. Posture therapy and the use of traction for 6–8 weeks help improve the condition.
  • The doctor also prescribes pain and inflammation reduction medications to be taken alongside the above treatment, such as Acetaminophen. Muscle relaxants and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, naproxen and ibuprofen are also prescribed for several weeks, based on the patient's condition.
  • The doctor might also recommend that the patient wear a padded ring around the neck for some time to restrict excess movement so that the neck muscles can relax. 
  • The patient can also be recommended to use massage therapy, ice, heat, or other such options based on the specific condition.

ii. Invasive treatment methods:

  • Sometimes doctors advise patients to get steroid-based injections for short-term relief. This includes procedures like cervical epidural block, cervical facet joint block, medial branch block, and radiofrequency ablation. 
  • Surgery is the last resort in cases of a compressed spinal cord or when a herniated disc or bone pinches the spinal nerve. This is also recommended by doctors for those experiencing severe neck pain and who have progressive neurologic symptoms that lead to unsteady walking or falling.


Cervical spondylosis is a critical cervical issue that can cause severe compression of the spinal cord or nerve roots. This results in permanent damage. So it is extremely important to consult a doctor whenever you feel some symptoms of spondylosis.

Request an appointment at Apollo Cradle, Hyderabad - Kondapur. Call 1860-500-1066 to book an appointment.

1. When do doctors prescribe steroid-based injections for cervical spondylosis?

A doctor thoroughly evaluates the case before recommending steroid-based injections for a patient suffering from cervical spondylosis. He explains all the risks and benefits to the patient before proceeding with the treatment.

2. When is surgery not the most suitable treatment method for cervical spondylosis?

Certain patients have severe neck pain because of the widespread nature of arthritis or other medical issues like fibromyalgia. Surgery is never a suitable option for such cases.

3. What are the risk factors for cervical spondylosis?

There are five risk factors for cervical spondylosis. First is ageing, when the issue can be most commonly seen; second is the lifestyle, such as spending long hours in front of the computer. Injury to the neck and some genetic factors can also lead to cervical spondylosis. Besides this, smoking is also associated with increased pain in the neck.

4. What are some initial treatment techniques for relieving pain from cervical spondylosis?

In the initial stages of mild neck pain, some easier treatment methods include the careful use of massage, heat, ice, or other local therapies.

5. What is the best way for people with desk jobs to avoid the chances of cervical spondylosis?

Desk jobs involving long hours of work with a laptop or desktop can cause a lot of strain on the neck. So it is important to avoid staring at the screen continuously. Moving the head gently and stretching in between can keep issues like cervical spondylosis at bay.

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