Spondylosis of the Cervical Spine Treatment
Treatment for cervical spondylosis focuses on relieving stress on the neck, while strengthening muscles and improving flexibility. A soft neck brace may help reduce sudden movements that cause pain. Physical therapy will provide exercises and stretching routines that will help strengthen the muscles and increase flexibility. Occasionally, physical therapy will include traction, which relieves pressure against the nerves. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications and muscle relaxant medications help relieve pain. For severe pain, stronger pain medications and corticosteroid injections may be necessary. Surgery may be required for those who have weakness or numbness in the arms or shoulders, due to pinched nerves in the neck.
Treatment options for cervical spondylosis include:
- Cold compresses for pain:
- Apply for 20 minutes at a time, 2 to 3 times per day
- Warm compresses for stiffness
- Neck brace
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain:
- Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, Nuprin, NeoProfen)
- Ketoprofen (Actron, Orudis, Oruvail)
- Naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, Aleve)
- Celecoxib (Celebrex)
- Narcotic pain medication:
- For moderate to severe pain
- For short term use only
- Corticosteroid injections
- Muscle relaxants
- Physical therapy for the neck:
- Strengthening exercises
- Stretching exercises
- Ultrasonic therapy
- Massage therapy
- Surgery for cervical spondylosis
For more information:
Spondylosis of the Cervical Spine Questions For Doctor
The following are some important questions to ask before and after the treatment of cervical spondylosis.
Questions to ask before treatment:
- What are my treatment options?
- Is surgery an option for me?
- What are the risks associated with treatment?
- Do I need to stay in the hospital?
- How long will I be in the hospital?
- What are the complications I should watch for?
- How long will I be on medication?
- What are the potential side effects of my medication?
- Does my medication interact with nonprescription medicines or supplements?
- Should I take my medication with food?
Questions to ask after treatment:
- Do I need to change my diet?
- Do I need to lose weight?
- Are there any medications or supplements I should avoid?
- When can I resume my normal activities?
- When can I return to work?
- Do I need a special exercise program?
- Will I need physical therapy?
- Will I need occupational therapy?
- What else can I do to reduce my risk for having this problem again?
- How often will I need to see my doctor for checkups?
- What local support and other resources are available?
Spondylosis of the Cervical Spine Specialist
Physicians from the following specialties evaluate and treat cervical spondylosis:
Continue to Spondylosis of the Cervical Spine Home Care
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- McCormick WE, Steinmetz MP, Benzel EC. Cervical spondylotic myelopathy: make the difficult diagnosis, then refer for surgery. Cleve Clin J Med. 2003 Oct;70(10):899-904. 
- Roh JS, Teng AL, Yoo JU, Davis J, Furey C, Bohlman HH. Degenerative disorders of the lumbar and cervical spine. Orthop Clin North Am. 2005 Jul;36(3):255-62.