Cervical spondylosis is caused by degenerative changes in the bones and intervertebral discs of the neck. A less technical name for this condition is osteoarthritis of the neck, or degenerative disc disease of the neck.
Typically, arthritis in the neck starts at about 40 years of age, and as you get older it will likely continue to progress. Men tend to develop cervical spondylosis at a younger age than women. Cervical Spondylosis leads to myelopathy. In fact, it is the most common condition of the neck that can affect the spinal cord.
Arthritis - The Neck and Its ChangesWith age, osteophytes - aka bone spurs - form on vertebral bodies. Bone spurs are the body’s way of attempting to increase the surface area of, and to stabilize hypermobile vertebral joints. But bone spur formation does not usually stabilize the joint successfully. Nor does it increase the joint's surface area; instead, the bone spurs tend to become painful as they put pressure on spinal nerves, and/or the spinal cord. This pressure often produces weakness, numbness and/or incontinence of either the bowels or the bladder.
See above for an image of neck arthritis, and below, as well as the pages that follow, for more detailed information on symptoms and treatments.