Cervical Spondylosis

Keywords: Cervical Spondylosis,  ROM, neck pain, Physiotherapy, Special tests, Differential Diagnosis, surgery.

Cervical Spondylosis

For Anatomy, Description, Causes, Examination and Treatments Click here. Don’t forget to come back to see physiotherapy’s role and recent research all available on PhysioWizz


Every patient is different however a with a typical presentation you may expect to find ……

Physiotherapy Aims:

  • Restore ROM
  • Decrease pain
  • Improve function
  • Reduce protective muscle spasm
  • Strengthen stabilising structures
  • Normalize afferent input and regain optimal proprioceptive function (Longbottom, 2010)
  • Refer on as appropriate
Problem List:
  1. Pain in cervical region centrally or into dermatomal region
  2. Secondary trigger points and muscle spasm
  3. Reduced ROM
  4. +/- Paraesthesia due to neural compression
Potential treatment:

  1. Soft tissue mobilisations
  2. Manual therapy
  3. Acupuncture
  4. Muscle Energy techniques
  5. Strengthening exercises.
  6. Cervical Distraction

Click here for a case study

Good Resources


What does the research say?

Conclusions: The proposed scoring system can be a reliable and objective tool for assessing cervical disk degeneration based on lateral radiographs.Moreover, the scoring system showed to be experience and discipline independent.

Walraevens et al (2009)


Sure you know this inside out? Could you explain it to a patient/ formulate a problem list and provide appropriate management? Complete the quiz to check.


Gross, A. R., et al. “Physical Medicine Modalities for Mechanical Neck Disorders.”Cochrane Database System Review 2 (2000): CD000961. National Center for Biotechnology Information. National Library of Medicine. 15 Nov. 2004 <PMID: 10796402>.

Karjalainen, K., et al. “Multidisciplinary Biopsychosocial Rehabilitation for Neck and Shoulder Pain Among Working Age Adults.” Cochrane Database System Review 2 (2003): CD002194. National Center for Biotechnology Information. National Library of Medicine. 15 Nov. 2004 <PMID: 12804428>.

Philadelphia Panel. “Philadelphia Panel Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guidelines on Selected Rehabilitation Interventions for Neck Pain.” Physical Therapy 81 10 (2001): 1701-1717. National Center for Biotechnology Information. National Library of Medicine. 15 Nov. 2004 <PMID: 11589644>.

Storro, S., J. Moen, and S. Svebak. “Effects on Sick-Leave of a Multidisciplinary Rehabilitation Programme for Chronic Low Back, Neck or Shoulder Pain: Comparison with Usual Treatment.”Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine 36 1 (2004): 12-16. National Center for Biotechnology Information. National Library of Medicine. 15 Nov. 2004 <PMID: 15074433>.

Braddom, Randolph L. Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 3rd ed. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders, 2006.

Isometric Grip Strength and Endurance of Patients With Cervical Spondylosis and Healthy Controls: A Comparative Study
Hong Kong Physiotherapy JournalVolume 27, Issue 12009Pages 2-6
Michael O. Egwu, Benjamin A. Ajao, Chidozie E. Mbada, Isaac O. Adeoshun

Degeneration and height of cervical discs classified from MRI compared with precise height measurements from radiographs Original Research Article
European Journal of RadiologyVolume 55, Issue 3September 2005Pages 415-420
Frode Kolstad, Gunnar Myhr, Kjell Arne Kvistad, Øystein P. Nygaard, Gunnar Leivseth

Cervical spondylosis Part 1: Pathogenesis, diagnosis and management options Original Research Article
Current OrthopaedicsVolume 8, Issue 4October 1994Pages 255-264
Michael Torrens

Qualitative and quantitative assessment of cervical disk degeneration
Surgical NeurologyVolume 71, Issue 1January 2009Page 148
J. Walraevens, B. Liu, J. Vander Sloten, J. Goffin

Degenerative Cervical Kyphosis: Treatment, Complications, and Outcomes Original Research Article
Seminars in Spine SurgeryVolume 23, Issue 3September 2011Pages 165-169
Jayme Hiratzka, Alex Ching, Robert Hart

Rosenbaum RB, Ciaverella DP. Disorders of bones, joints, ligaments, and meninges. In: Bradley WG, Daroff RB, Fenichel GM, Jankovic J, eds. Neurology in Clinical Practice. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Butterworth-Heinemann; 2008:chap 77.

Cohen I, Jouve C. Cervical radiculopathy. In: Frontera WR, Silver JK, Rizzo TD Jr, eds. Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2008:chap 4.

Devereaux M. Neck pain. Med Clin North Am. 2009;93:273-284.

Longbottom, J. (2010) Acupuncture in manual therapy. London: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier.

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