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Can Cervical Spondylosis Affect Speech & Cause Balance Problems?

Cervical spondylosis is a typical condition of middle-aged and older adults. The condition occurs as a result of the degeneration of bones when the bones lose the cushion and rub against each other as the person grows older. Osteoarthritis is one of the widespread symptoms of cervical spondylosis.

Doctors’ diagnose cervical spondylosis based on symptoms generally in people who are experiencing arthritis or in adults who are age 55 and above. However, in certain cases, the condition is noticed at a much earlier age. One of the few reasons that causing cervical spondylosis is hereditary and obesity.

Can Cervical Spondylosis Affect Speech?

Cervical spondylosis is the foremost reason for spasticity developed in the elderly population. More than 60% of middle-aged individuals have radiographic data of cervical shift, however, less than ten percentage produced signs of spinal cord firmness or nerve inflammation due to neurological dysfunction.

The clinical onset of this condition is asymptomatic in the initial stage yet the condition slowly progresses to show symptoms one after the other in a step wise manner, with some symptoms more stabilized while others may start worsening.

Certain condition of cervical spondylosis such as platybasia (cell nevus syndrome due to an abnormality of the base of the skull), basilar invagination (an uncommon syndrome that occurs when the top of the spine pushes into the base of the skull) places strain on the brain cells and the associated nerve tissue. This, in turn, develops the following symptoms:

  • Headache, blur vision and palpitation
  • Voice hoarseness, slurred speech
  • Problems with swallowing.1,2

When a person is identified with Cervical Spondylosis, it would be quite an intimidating situation. They may wonder what kind of symptoms they may experience and what medications would they require to treat each symptom because certain symptoms of cervical spondylosis such as slurred speech and forgetting words may much affect your normal routines.

These individuals will face problems with difficulty in reading and unable to concentrate on work because they may experience a brain fog. These symptoms don’t go away easily and can significantly affect your life. However, there are worse cases when your problem affects your sense of balance and concentration.3

Can Cervical Spondylosis Cause Balance Problems?

Many patients with cervical spondylosis often complain about feelings of imbalance and dizziness. You can experience these symptoms when you move your neck and get up from one position. These symptoms occur as a result of a block in the blood flow to the important regions of the neck. This is often referred to as cervical vertigo.

Cervical Vertigo or cervicogenic dizziness is a sense of dizziness and spinning that occurs as a result of certain neck posture or movement. It is one of the typical symptoms of cervical spondylosis and is characterized by the presence of imbalance, unsteadiness, perplexity, pain in the neck region, and cervical range of motion.

This condition usually resolves with treatment of the cervical spondylosis and research states that prognosis is found very satisfactory with over 75% of patients have shown improvement in the symptoms.

Balance problems and dizziness are more prevalent in older adults. A study was conducted on several patients suffering from cervical spondylosis over 12 months and the results showed that over 30% of the population who are in the age group of 65-70 had this imbalance problem. These occurrences resulted in morbidities because during which the individuals undergo loneliness, despair, and physical injury from falls.4,5


  1. Atypical symptoms in patients with cervical spondylosis – Comparison of the treatment effect of different surgical approaches https://journals.lww.com/md-journal/fulltext/2018/05180/atypical_symptoms_in_patients_with_cervical.25.aspx
  2. Signs and Symptoms of Upper Cervical Disorders – Spinal cord compression leads to the most serious symptoms  https://www.spineuniverse.com/conditions/upper-neck-disorders/signs-symptoms-upper-cervical-disorders
  3. Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy: What the Neurologist Should Know https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5136752/
  4. Cervical Vertigo: Overview, Causes, and Symptoms – Healthline https://www.healthline.com/health/cervical-vertigo
  5. Symptoms of imbalance associated with cervical spine pathology https://digitalcommons.wustl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1351&context=pacs_capstones

Also Read:

Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Sheetal DeCaria, M.D. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:May 12, 2020

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