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Cervical Spondylosis: Definition, Causes, Risk Factors and Complications

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What is Cervical Spondylosis?

Cervical Spondylosis is a broad term for the wear and tear changes that affect the vertebral or spinal discs in the neck due to aging. Over time, these discs begin to shrink and become dry, and signs of osteoarthritis, such as bone spurs, begin to develop.

Cervical Spondylosis occurs very frequently. Over 90% of people over the age of 65 have evidence of osteoarthritis and cervical spondylosis that is visible on x-rays of the neck. The condition gets worse as we age. Some families tend to have more changes in their discs than others, so it appears there is a genetic link to the disorder.

Most people who have Cervical Spondylosis do not have any symptoms. When symptoms or problems do occur, conservative (non-surgical) treatment is often prescribed to determine what is Cervical Spondylosis.

What is Cervical Spondylosis' Reason?

As you grow older, due to everyday wear and tear, the parts of your spine gradually begin to wear out. Your spine is made up, not only of backbones but also of ligaments and discs. Wear and tear affect all of these, and cause changes to occur that can lead to what is Cervical Spondylosis. Some of these changes to learn more about what is Cervical Spondylosis include:

  • Dehydrated Discs: Intervertebral Discs lie between the vertebrae and function as shock absorbers and cushions to prevent the vertebrae from grinding on each other. With age, the discs begin to dehydrate, and they shrink. This starts to happen to most people by the time they are 40 years old. This means there is greater potential for more bone-on-bone friction and grinding and increased risk for painful symptoms of Cervical Spondylosis.
  • Herniated Discs: Growing older also has an impact on the outside edges of the vertebral discs. As the discs dry out, they can crack. This allows their center, which is gel-like material that has been so helpful in cushioning the vertebrae, to leak out. This material can take up room in the spinal canal and cause pressure on the nerve roots and spinal cord. If this occurs, painful symptoms of Cervical Spondylosis will be experienced.
  • Bone Spurs: Bone spurs develop as the body's natural reaction to degeneration of the discs. The body tries to make up for what it is losing by forming extra bone. These additional pieces of bone sometimes can pinch the nerve roots and spinal cord and are a sign of Cervical Spondylosis when they appear in the upper spine.
  • Stiff Ligaments: Strands of tissue that connect one bone to another are called ligaments. Growing older can cause the ligaments in the spine to become stiff. This makes your neck stiff and decreases your flexibility which is a symptom of Cervical Spondylosis.

What is Cervical Spondylosis' Prevalence?

Cervical Spondylosis is a typical condition that is evaluated to represent 2% of all hospital cases and admissions. It is the most incessant reason for spinal cord injuries in patients who are 55 years of age or older. On the premise of radiological discoveries, 90% of men who are more than 50 years and 90% of women who are more than 60 years of age have proof of degenerative changes in the cervical spine.

What is Cervical Spondylosis with Myelopathy? A 2009 report showed that Cervical Spondylosis with Myelopathy was the most widely recognized essential diagnosis (36%) among elderly US patients admitted to the hospital for surgical treatment of a degenerative cervical spine in between 1992 and 2005.

Both genders are influenced similarly. Cervical Spondylosis generally begins earlier in men than in women.

What is Cervical Spondylosis' Risk Factor?

Spondylosis is an aging phenomenon. With age, the bones and ligaments in the spine wear, prompting bone spurs (osteoarthritis). Additionally, the intervertebral disc worsens and weakens, which can prompt disc herniation and protruding circles. Spondylosis is common. Side effects are regularly first revealed between the ages of 20 and 50. More than 80% of individuals beyond 40 years old have evidence of Spondylosis on X-ray exams. The rate at which Spondylosis occurs is incompletely identified with a genetic inclination and additionally damage history.

There are certain factors that increase your risk for developing Cervical Spondylosis. These risk factors include:

  • Age:

    Your risk of developing Cervical Spondylosis increases as you age. It is a normal part of growing older. The discs in the spine gradually lose fluid and shrink over time.
  • Occupation:

    Some jobs may increase your risk for developing Cervical Spondylosis. These jobs usually involve tasks that place an extra amount of stress on your neck such as jobs requiring overhead work, repetitive neck movements or awkward positions.
  • Neck injuries:

    People who have suffered neck injuries seem to be at increased risk for developing Cervical Spondylosis.
  • Genetic factors:

    Some families tend to have a greater chance of developing these changes associated with Cervical Spondylosis than others.

What is Cervical Spondylosis' Complication?

Cervical Spondylosis may lead to Cervical Radiculopathy. This complication occurs when osteophytes (bone spurs) press on the nerves while they exit the bones and spinal column. Your spinal cord and nerve roots may become severely compressed due to cervical spondylosis, and its damage has high possibility of becoming permanent.

What is cervical spondylosis
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