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How is Cervical Spondylosis Diagnosed?

Cervical spondylosis, or neck arthritis, often presents with symptoms like neck pain, stiffness, and numbness. Diagnosis involves medical history and imaging studies.

  • 13 Feb 2024
  • 2 min read

Cervical spondylosis, also known as cervical osteoarthritis or neck arthritis, is a common age-related condition affecting the neck's discs and joints. The condition is more prevalent among people older than 60, but it can also affect younger people whose lifestyles contribute to accelerated wear and tear of the spine and neck. Factors such as poor posture, repetitive neck movements, wavy lifting or a history of neck injuries can contribute to this condition. However, by understanding its symptoms, undergoing an accurate diagnosis, and seeking out appropriate treatment, we can navigate the complexities of this condition effectively.

Cervical Spondylosis Symptoms

Cervical spondylosis often shows no symptoms and rather goes unnoticed in the guise of minor neck pain. At times, people with cervical spondylosis experience shrinking in the spinal canal within the spine, as a result of which, one may experience:

  • Neck pain and stiffness
  • Headaches, often starting at the back of the head
  • Tingling or numbness in the hands or fingers
  • Weakness in the arms or legs
  • Difficulty walking or maintaining balance


With the symptoms, however silent they may be, surfacing, it gets crucial to reach out to medical care to treat the condition right. For an accurate cervical spondylosis diagnosis, healthcare professionals perform the following procedures:

  • Medical History and Physical Examination: Detailed discussion of symptoms and evaluation of neck mobility, reflexes, and muscle strength.
  • Imaging Studies: X Rays to visualise bone spurs and the overall condition of the spine; MRI scans for a detailed look at discs, nerves, and soft tissues; CT scans to reveal bony structures and spinal canal details


Treatment for cervical spondylosis is different for every patient as it involves factors such as severity, age and more. After cervical spondylosis diagnosis, it is not only imperative to undergo proper medical intervention but also healthy lifestyle changes that promote ease in pain.

  • Medications: Pain relievers such as acetaminophen, NSAIDs; muscle relaxants to alleviate muscle spasms such as Amrix, Fexmid; corticosteroid injections for severe pain and inflammation.
  • Physical Therapy: Targeted exercises to promote neck strength and flexibility; posture improvement techniques; manual therapy for pain relief.
  • Lifestyle Modifications: Ergonomic adjustments in workspaces; neck-supportive pillows for sleep; regular breaks during prolonged activities
  • Surgery (in severe cases): Surgery may be considered if conservative measures fail. Procedures like discectomy or cervical fusion are also helpful in treating, or rather tackling this ailment.

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Cervical spondylosis is a condition manageable with proper diagnosis and treatment. However it is important to note that vigilance about the minutest of pain and discomfort can play a vital role in understanding and consequently improving the outcomes. Moreover, it is smart to opt for a robust health insurance plan to avoid financial burden when going through this condition, right from the diagnosis, to tests for cervical spondylosis,to the treatment and medications for the management of it.

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