Glossary On Causes of Cervical Spondylitis

What triggers off the pain in the neck?

Long standing degeneration (wearing away) of the vertebrae and the intervertebral discs is the primary cause behind this disorder. Now this can be triggered due to a number of reasons such as:

  • Advancing age
  • History of neck injury in the past
  • Occupational trauma – lifting heavy loads on head, gymnastics, working on the computer for long hours
  • Sleeping in sitting position repetitively during journeys
  • Occupations requiring minute concentration wherein people work with bent neck for long time
  • Holding the telephone between the ears and shoulders for long durations repeatedly
  • Any kind of odd postures that put a strain on the neck – when these are taken up over and again, they can lead to progressive degenerative changes
  • Congenitally fused spine, Cerebral Palsy, Down syndrome may be risk factors for developing cervical spondylitis
  • Genetic cause may be possible since cases running in families have been seen
  • Smoking may be one of the risk factors

Whatever be the trigger for cervical spondylitis, the common changes that are seen in the cervical spine are as follows:

  • Abnormal growths or ‘spurs’ on the vertebrae
  • Dehydration and subsequent loss of elasticity in the intervertebral discs
  • Bulging of the discs from between two vertebrae
  • Stiffness of neck ligaments (tissue connecting the neck bones and muscles)
Cervical Spondylitis