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Cervical Spondylosis (Head/Neck) treatment guide

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Guide Overview

A brief summary of what you'll find inside our treatment guide.


Cervical Spondylosis occurs when the soft spongy discs that cushion and separate the joints of the neck become thinner with age.

As a result, the joints sit closer together and begin to wear causing periodic irritation, inflammation, and pain.

Causes (Aetiology)

Cervical Spondylosis is a degenerative condition which develops over time and forms part of the body’s natural ageing process.

Although it may sound serious most people experience some form of joint degeneration as they grow older without realising it.

Signs and symptoms

Most of the time wear and tear in our bodies is painless because the articular cartilage that lines the joints has no nerve endings.

However, if the articular cartilage wears all the way through to expose the underlying bone the joint surfaces rub together and friction causes them to become inflamed and painful.

Symptoms include:

  • Pain and stiffness which is worse in the morning
  • Reduced movement and difficulty turning and bending the head
  • Tingling, or pain into the arms, hands and fingers
  • Headaches, dizziness and nausea


Joints are lubricated through movement so it’s important to keep them healthy with gentle exercise.

The movement also helps push away any inflammation that forms and stagnates between the joint surfaces.

However, it’s important to keep movement and exercise within tolerable limits to prevent irritation.

Acute phase

During the acute phase, pain causes the surrounding muscles to tighten or spasm; a condition called ‘guarding contracture’.

This often squeezes worn joint surfaces together and makes the condition worse.

Our treatment guide will show you how to manage the pain during the acute phase so that you can begin gentle decompression of the joints.

Post-acute phase

Post-acute stage management focusses on keeping the joints mobilised and the surrounding muscles lengthened and relaxed.

Our treatment guide will show you how to lengthen chronically short muscles with a combination of isometric, concentric and eccentric stretches and help prevent them becoming irritated and painful.


Cervical spondylosis is irreversible, and periodic flare-ups are inevitable. However, symptoms generally respond well to conservative treatment and a combination of pain relief, mobilisation and decompression therapy.


Complications include the development of bony growths, scar tissue and adhesions. These can impinge on surrounding tissues and cause secondary complications.

However, our treatment guide will help you to reduce painful episodes, delay and even prevent the need for invasive surgery or long-term medication if incorporated into a daily maintenance programme.

Start today and fast track your recovery!

Our guides contain all the latest clinical advice for musculoskeletal healthcare.

You can save hundreds of pounds or dollars on expensive physical therapy by treating the condition simply and effectively at home.

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Cervical Spondylosis (Head/Neck) treatment guide

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