A person suffers from cervical spondylosis if his or her spinal column gets damaged. It is quite common among the older people and aging is considered to be the potent cause for this condition. The wear and tear of the vertebrae can cause several other complications in those elderly people who are above 55 years of age.
Osteoarthritis is a common disease that follows this spinal dysfunction. Cervical spondylosis is a progressive disease and brings about various symptoms with time. Degeneration of the cervical joints in the neck causes pain and stiffness and they gradually worsen if left untreated. However, in this post you will get to know more about cervical spondylosis neck pain and its complications.
Complications of Cervical Spondylosis
Though it is quite rare, but there are cases of cervical spondylosis where the damaged bones in the neck compress the roots of the spinal nerves. This type of nerve compression may lead to cervical radiculopathy. Though this compression of nerves occurs in the neck area, but the other neighbouring nerves may also get affected and together they may cause a variety of symptoms.
The common symptoms of cervical radiculopathy include weakness, tingling or numbness of the hands and legs, chest or shoulder pain, loss of coordination, difficulty walking, loss of bowel or bladder control and abnormal reflexes of the spinal cord. The spinal nerves signal the muscles to contract and relax when required, but due to compression in these nerves your muscles weaken and atrophy.
The pain of cervical radiculopathy is equivalent to an electric shock and it increases with sneezing, coughing and spinal movements. If you are experiencing nerve compression in the cervical vertebra at the sixth level or the C6 then it is quite obvious to feel the pain that starts from the shoulder blades and radiates all the way to your thumbs through the biceps. It can also be identified by poor biceps reflexes. The pain due to nerve compression at C7 or the seventh cervical vertebra radiates from the armpits and shoulder blades to the middle finger and is accompanied by poor reflexes and weakness in triceps.
Cervical spondylosis causes certain modifications in the structure of the cervical vertebra like bone spurs and this may encroach on the space surrounding the spinal cord.
Constriction of this spinal space is also known as cervical myelopathy. Just like cervical radiculopathy, you may also suffer from pain and tingling sensations in chest, shoulder and legs in case of cervical myelopathy. The other symptoms of cervical myelopathy include loss of control in arms and legs and muscle weakness.
If your cervical vertebra is exposed to continuous damage, it is quite obvious to increase the risk of developing cervical radiculopathy and cervical myelopathy. While performing daily activities, the patients usually face serious weakness and pain while walking, standing or even sitting. Sometimes the condition is so severe that you may need an immediate surgery to relieve the pressure upon your cervical vertebra and alleviate the pain. Suppressing these symptoms will help you to restore certain necessary body functions.