News & Events
12 Feb 2024

Osteoarthritis and Neck Pain: How Are They Linked?

  •  Admin

Osteoarthritis commonly leads to damage in areas such as the spine, knees, hips, and hands. However, it's worth noting that this condition can also affect the neck, leading to a specific condition known as cervical osteoarthritis or cervical spondylosis. In this variation, the arthritic changes primarily occur in the bones, joints, and discs of the neck.

Common Symptoms of Osteoarthritis in the Neck

Symptoms of Osteoarthritis in the Neck may vary based on the severity of the condition. Common indications include:

Neck Pain or Stiffness: Discomfort or stiffness in the neck, often worsening with movement.

Audible Sounds: A grinding or cracking sound may be experienced when moving the neck.

Muscle Weakness or Numbness: Weakness or numbness in the arms or hands may occur.

Headaches: Headaches, particularly at the base of the skull, can be a symptom.

Limited Range of Motion: Restriction in the range of motion in the neck may be observed.

In addition to the more common symptoms of cervical osteoarthritis, such as neck pain and stiffness, there are less frequently observed manifestations that individuals should be aware of. These include symptoms like nausea, headaches, vertigo, blurry vision, and even challenges with memory. Cervical osteophytes, or bone spurs in the neck, can contribute to pain, tingling, numbness, and weakness, with discomfort potentially radiating from the neck to the shoulder, arm, or hand. It is crucial to recognize these less common symptoms for a comprehensive understanding and effective management of cervical osteoarthritis.

Contributing Factors to Neck Osteoarthritis


Osteoarthritis is more prevalent in older adults as the gradual breakdown of cartilage in the joints is a natural part of the aging process.


Genetic factors can play a role, influencing an individual's susceptibility to developing osteoarthritis.

Previous Injuries:

Individuals with a history of neck or spine injuries are at an elevated risk of developing osteoarthritis.

Repetitive Movements:

Engaging in repetitive movements involving the neck, such as prolonged periods of looking down at a computer screen, can increase the likelihood of developing osteoarthritis in the neck.

Managing Osteoarthritis in the Neck: Treatment Options

While osteoarthritis has no cure, various treatment options can effectively address symptoms and slow the progression of the disease. Common approaches for managing osteoarthritis in the neck include:

Physical Therapy:

Engaging in physical therapy can enhance range of motion, strengthen neck muscles, and alleviate pain and stiffness.


Over-the-counter pain medications, such as acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), are often prescribed to reduce pain and inflammation.

Heat or Cold Therapy:

Applying heat or cold to the affected area can be beneficial in alleviating pain and stiffness associated with neck osteoarthritis.


In severe cases, surgery may be recommended to address neck osteoarthritis. Procedures may involve removing damaged cartilage or fusing affected vertebrae, particularly when conservative measures are insufficient.

These treatment options aim to enhance quality of life by managing symptoms and promoting better neck function for individuals dealing with osteoarthritis in the neck. Consulting with healthcare professionals can help determine the most suitable approach based on individual needs and the severity of the condition.

Practical Measures to Prevent Osteoarthritis in the Neck

While it may not be entirely feasible to prevent osteoarthritis in the neck, adopting certain lifestyle measures can significantly diminish the risk of developing this condition. One fundamental practice is maintaining good posture, ensuring the neck remains in a neutral position and avoiding hunching or slouching to alleviate strain on the joints. Staying physically active through regular exercise proves beneficial, as it strengthens the muscles in the neck and diminishes the likelihood of osteoarthritis development.

Additionally, being mindful of avoiding repetitive movements in the neck, especially during prolonged periods of computer use, is essential. Taking regular breaks to stretch and change positions can mitigate potential strain. When engaging in activities involving the neck, such as weightlifting or yoga, using proper form is crucial to reduce the risk of injury.

Maintaining a healthy weight is another pivotal factor in preventing osteoarthritis in the neck. Excess weight or obesity can exert additional stress on the neck joints, heightening the risk of developing osteoarthritis. By incorporating these practical measures into one's lifestyle, individuals can actively contribute to their overall neck health and reduce the likelihood of osteoarthritis occurrence.

Maintaining Your Uplifted Spirits Shouldn't Cause Discomfort

At Endospine360, we firmly believe in the advantages of preventive care and prioritize minimally invasive surgeries. Our commitment extends to ensuring clear communication and personalized attention for each patient. Schedule a consultation today to explore how we can offer optimal care for your spinal condition. Our dedicated team is here to support and guide you through every step of your treatment journey.

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