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Can You Die From Cervical Spondylosis & How Do You Stop It From Spreading?

Cervical spondylolysis corresponds to an anatomical abnormality of a vertebra. It results in the congenital absence of a particular bone structure behind the vertebra, which is sometimes a source of instability. Asymptomatic most of the time, the lesion can reveal itself in the course of a road accident with “whiplash” or a sports accident. Let us return to the conditions of its formation, its symptoms, its treatments, and the best means of prevention.(1)

Can You Die From Cervical Spondylosis?

Cervical spondylosis can become disabling in some cases but it does not cause death directly or is a life-threatening condition. Cervical spondylosis is a form of arthritis that affects the vertebrae of the neck.

It is a degeneration of the neck joints that begins gently around 40 years of age and has symptomatology provided around 60 years of age. As curious as it may seem, the origin of cervical spondylosis is not the wear of the vertebrae or cartilage in this area of the neck.

The root of the problem starts from a degeneration of the articular discs. You lose elasticity because of dehydration and fail to keep them strong and flexible.

As mentioned earlier, it is common for spondylosis to develop over time. However, there are children and young people who complain of arthritis and who suffer from this condition. This lack of hydration may cause crushing or paralysis of the spaces between the discs. As the pressure increases, the joints degenerate, rub between them and the pain appears as well as the inflammation and this feeling of the rigid neck which can cause nausea.

On the other hand, be aware that if cervical spondylosis becomes chronic, a protuberance or an osteophyte may appear. This growth oppresses the space where the nerves in this area are located, which further increases the pain.(2)

How Do You Stop Cervical Spondylosis From Spreading?

Early treatment to relieve pain is the best way to stop it from spreading and getting worse. Available treatments have several objectives:

  • Relieve pain to improve the quality of life
  • Prevent recurrences,
  • Delay the course of the disease,
  • Treat by surgery when necessary, to avoid serious complications.

Several drugs can be prescribed to relieve pain and reduce inflammation: analgesics (acetaminophen or paracetamol), non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs (Ibuprofen for example), anti-inflammatory creams for local application. NSAIDs should be used with caution due to the possible side effects (gastrointestinal disturbances, cardiac disturbances). When the pain is very severe, the doctor may use steroids or opiates (opium derivatives).

Physical therapy also helps to relieve pain and prevent recurrences, with push-ups on vertebrotherapy table, massage, stretching exercises, weight training, and flexibility of the affected areas, learning the appropriate gestures so as not to reactivate the pain. Wearing a foam collar or using an appropriate pillow can help relieve pain.

Surgery will be used when serious complications are diagnosed, such as neurological or arterial damage: these are cases where the nerves, the spinal cord, or the arteries are compressed.(3)

Prevention Of Cervical Spondylosis

Lack of exercise, overweight and poor posture may lead to early symptoms of cervical spondylosis. Tension in the neck and shoulders, as well as headaches, are typical signs of incorrect strain. Movement exercises are helpful in this preliminary stage of cervical spine wear. The training focuses on relaxation, posture correction, stretching, and strengthening the structures. Prevention aims to reduce or prevent damage from wear and tear.(1)(2)(3)(4)

Cervical spondylosis is a neck pain that can affect living conditions. Cervical spondylosis or osteoarthritis of the neck can have many causes. However, this is a very common process, linked to aging. It is incredible to realize the complexity of the operation of this fabulous structure that is the spine.

Cervicals, for example, are made up of a set of delicate vertebrae. Their balance and resistance are directly influenced by:

  • Bad postures
  • Strong and disjointed movements
  • The simple passage of time

It is also important to know that cervical spondylosis lasts over time, the more the pain is likely to extend into the arms and legs.

If this is your case, if you already feel some pain in the cervical area continuously, then it will be necessary to speak with a doctor and a good physiotherapist to integrate new strategies into your life.


  1. Luo M. Arthritis Relief and Remedy Method. Google Patents; 2018.
  2. Ahmed SB, Qamar A, Imran M, Usmani A, Mehar Y, ul Haque S. Cervical Spondylosis; An Inevitable But Preventable Catastrophe. 2019.
  3. Metzger RL. Evidence-based diagnosis and treatment of cervical spine disorders. The Nurse Practitioner. 2019;44(8):30-37.
  4. Binder AI. Cervical spondylosis and neck pain. Bmj. 2007;334(7592):527-531.

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 13, 2020

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