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The Bane of Cervical Spondylosis

Dr. Sanjay Gupta

All emotional and physical stresses put a lot of weight on one’s mind which affects one’s neck and manifests itself with symptoms such as pain, stiffness and immobility of the neck. And one does not pay much attention to the neck until it hurts and hurts severely. Beware of the neck pain and rectify your living habits before you get cervical spondylosis, a degenerative condition of the bones of the neck.


Your neck begins to hurt when you are under stress. All emotional and physical stresses put a lot of weight on one’s mind which affects one’s neck and manifests itself with symptoms such as pain, stiffness and immobility of the neck. And one does not pay much attention to the neck until it hurts and hurts severely. Beware of the neck pain and rectify your living habits before you get cervical spondylosis, a degenerative condition of the bones of the neck.

Cervical spondylosis is a degenerative disorder of the bones of the neck and the flexible discs of the cartilage between the discs. The mobility of the neck is more than that of any other part of the spinal column. It has a strong and a flexible system of muscles and ligaments which continuously holds the head up. Many nerves run through the spinal cord and conduct impulses to and from the head, shoulders, chest and arms. Many arteries and veins which carry the blood also run through the neck.

As the disc degenerates the vertebrae get closer to each other and there is a formation of bony spurs which can lead to nerve compression.

Causes and Occurrence
Disc degeneration is age related and manifests itself around the age of 40 years and above. As age advances, the vertebral discs wear out and the fibrous cartilage between the vertebrae becomes narrow and less elastic and loses water content. The disc thus undergoes degeneration. In a majority of cases, the process of degeneration of the vertebrae dates back to an accident or an injury to the neck.

Neck pain can also result from poor posture, obesity and excess tension.

Jobs such as typing, computer operation and jobs of executives are mainly desk work jobs in which the person has to lean over for long periods of time. This leads to the tightening or contraction of the neck muscles creating muscular fatigue which causes pain and stiffness in the neck.

Emotional stress brought on by worrying constantly can aggravate the pain. Sleeping on a pillow which is too high or sleeping in any awkward position can put the neck out of line and cause a pain in the neck.

Help yourself!

  • Maintain a good and an upright posture.
  • While reading keep the reading material in front of you.
  • Do not spend long time looking down while doing desk work.
  • Do not keep your neck in one position for long periods of time.
  • Keep your neck moving to avoid tightening of muscles.
  • Keep yourself mentally relaxed.
  • Do not sleep with extra pillows under your neck. If possible, prefer sleeping without a pillow.
  • Avoid sleeping on your stomach.
  • Avoid stretching your neck and lifting heavy weights.
  • Avoid prolonged driving.
  • Exercise is necessary. Neck exercises reduce the strain on the neck by improving the posture and strengthening the muscles of the neck. All neck exercises should be done slowly and gradually. Never exercise during the acute phase of the pain.
  • During an acute attack of pain, take bed rest and apply hot or cold fomentation to the part.

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