Glossary On Cervical Spondylitis Symptoms

The neck hurts so much!

Neck pain and stiffness is one of the earliest presentations of cervical spondylitis. Some of the characteristic features of this condition are:

  • Chronic or episodic pain and stiffness in the neck and shoulder region
  • The pain tends to get worse over a period of time
  • There may be periods initially when the pain disappears completely; later as the disease advances the pain may remain persistent
  • Pain may radiate (travel) from neck to shoulders, arms, forearms, hands, lower part of the head, upper back
  • Coughing, sneezing, other movements of the neck may worsen symptoms
  • Along with pain, there may be abnormal sensations (tingling numbness), loss of sensation, weakness in any of the above regions
  • There may be non-specific headaches in the lower part of the back of head
  • Sensation of loss of balance
  • Loss of control over the bladder or bowels (if the spinal cord is compressed)
  • Occasionally there may be atypical pain presenting as chest pain or breast pain (false angina)

The doctor may find certain clear pointers to this disease on examination of the patient:

  • Spasm of the neck muscles
  • Limited range of movements of the neck – bending forward, backward, sideways, rotating the head are all limited
  • Weakness of muscles of the arms, forearms
  • Altered sensation in the shoulder region, arms, forearms, neck, etc.
  • Reflexes are often reduced
Cervical Spondylitis