What is cervical spine pain and what are its causes?

What is cervical spine painWhat is cervical spine pain

What is cervical spine pain

Cervical spine pain is a common age-related medical condition. It affects the joints, discs, and the cervical spine that is present in the human neck. It is also known by the name neck arthritis. Cervical spine pain develops wear and tear of cartilages and bones present in the spine. Although it is largely the cause of age, it can be caused by several other factors.

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What causes cervical spine pain?

This is a medical condition that affects people over 60 years old or even older. There can be some people who never experience the symptoms. Then there come those who have severe pain and stiffness. However, having cervical spine pain doesn’t mean that it will cut out your connection with normal daily activities.

The bones and the protective cartilages of the neck are prone to wear and tear. This causes cervical spine pain. Possible causes of the medical condition include:

Bone spurs

This is caused due to overgrowth of the bone. This results in the condition that tries to make the spine stronger. There occurs the presence of extra bone that presses on delicate areas of the spine. This results in pain as the spinal cord and the nerves of the spine get pressed.

Dehydrated spinal discs

The spinal bones of the body have discs between them. These are thick, pad-like cushions. These are made to absorb the shock of lifting, twisting, and other activities. There can be chances that the gel-like material present inside these discs will dry out. This causes bones to rub against each other. With the progression of time, these effects become painful. This is also the aging-side effect that starts after the 30s.

Herniated discs

Spinal discs can develop cracks with age. This leads to leakage of cushion-like material that supports the internal system of the spine. This can result in arm numbness and pain that may radiate down the arm.


An injury in the neck can also lead to cervical spine pain. This can also be the result of a sudden fall or car accident. This can accelerate the aging process.

Ligament stiffness

Some cords connect the spinal bones. These bones become stiffer over time. This can affect the movement of the neck and can make the neck feel tight.


Certain activities like dancing, construction, and lifting require overuse of the bones. This puts extra pressure on the spine. It can lead to early wear and tear of the bones or the spinal cord.

What are the risk factors for cervical spine pain?

The greatest risk factor for cervical spine pain is aging. The cervical spine often develops changes as a result of your neck joints age. All the causes mentioned above are the results of aging.

There can also be factors other than aging. These include:

  • neck injuries
  • Strain and certain lifting activities that puts pressure on the cervical
  • Holding the neck in an uncomfortable position having exposed to prolonged activities or repetitive neck movements can further worsen the situation
  • There can also be the causes of genetic facto or family history
  • smoking
  • Being inactive and unexplained weight gain

What are the symptoms of cervical spine pain?

Most of the people who carry cervical spine pain may not have other significant symptoms. If symptoms do occur, they can range from mild to moderate. One of the common symptoms is pain around the shoulder blade. There can also be causes of pain in the arm and fingers. Moreover, the pain may increase while:

  • standing
  • sitting
  • sneezing
  • coughing
  • tilting your neck backward

Muscle weakness is also the common cause of cervical spine pain. It makes the neck hard to lift. Also, it affects the movement of the arm as the pain may shift down to arms or in fingers. This may lead to difficulty in grasping objects and doing small lifts.

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