Degenerative disease of the neck vertebrae. Compression of the spinal cord and cervical nerves by narrowing of spaces between vertebrae causes radiating neck or arm pain and stiffness, restricted head movement, headaches, spastic paralysis, and arm and leg weakness. Cervical spondylosis can resemble neurological disease with unrelated arthritis. It is treated with rest, traction, and possibly a cervical collar. Removal of herniated disks or fusion of vertebrae may be necessary.
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Spondylosis is degenerative arthritis, osteoarthritis, of the spinal vertebrae and related tissue. If severe, it may cause pressure on nerve roots with subsequent pain or paresthesia in the arms.
When the space between two adjacent vertebrae narrows, compression of a nerve root emerging from the spinal cord may result in radiculopathy (sensory system and motor system disturbances, such as severe pain in the neck, shoulder, arm, back, and/or leg, accompanied by muscular weakness). Less commonly, direct pressure on the spinal cord (typically in the cervical spine) may result in global weakness, gait dysfunction, loss of balance, and loss of bowel and/or bladder control. The patient may experience a phenomenon of shocks (paresthesia) in hands and legs because of nerve compression and lack of blood flow (ischemia). If vertebrae of the neck are involved it is labeled Cervical Spondylosis. Lower back spondylosis is labeled Lumbar Spondylosis.