Conditions of the Cervical Spine

Author: Judy Thomas, MD

Key Points

It is common for elderly individuals to experience neck pain.

Majority of neck pain is related to cervical spondylosis or degenerative disease of the spine.

These conditions occur as a result of degeneration of the intervertebral disks, with loss of water content within the disks and subsequent disk collapse.

Common clinical syndromes associated with degenerative disk disease include cervical spondylosis, radiculopathy, and myelopathy.

 

Overview

Cervical Spondylosis is the degeneration of the joints of the neck.

Radiculopathy 

Myelopathy

 

Diagnosis

In generating a differential diagnosis in an older individual with neck pain, consider and rule out:

 

Management

The majority of cervical symptoms in the geriatric patient can be treated with:

Surgery may be indicated for a patient with:

Bed rest is NOT a primary treatment.

 

References

Kauffman, T.L., Barr, J.O., Moran, M.L. (2007). Geriatric Rehabilitation Manual, 2nd Ed. Lancaster, PA: Churchill Livingstone.