Page Updated on Apr 2, 2020 by Dr. Reyfman (Pain Management Specialist) of Pain Physicians NY

Arthritis of the Cervical Spine

Cervical Spine Arthritis TreatmentArthritis of the cervical spine is a painful and debilitating inflammation in the spine. The joints in the spine rub against each other causing them to degenerate and creating pain. Signs of arthritis in the spine are stiffness in the neck and back and eventually a decreased range of motion. An arthritis specialist can help you diagnose your neck and back arthritis symptoms and ease your pain.

What is Arthritis of the Cervical Spine?

Arthritis of the cervical spine is an inflammation of the facet joints in between each vertebra. Facet joints are the connections between the spine. They hold the nerves running through to your arms, legs, and other parts of the body. Facet joints consist of hard but smooth cartilage that allows the spine to move and twist. Over time, these protective joints deteriorate causing the bones to rub against each other. Fragments of bone and cartilage can tear off leading to pain and discomfort in the neck and back and neck arthritis symptoms.

Causes of Cervical Spine Arthritis

Cervical spine arthritis symptoms are most often caused by degeneration and inflammation of the joints. According to Current Rheumatology Reports, arthritis is common. About 40-80% of adults in the United States suffer from cervical spine arthritis. Usually, cervical spine arthritis occurs in older adults caused by years of joints rubbing against each other.

Although most often the causes of cervical spine arthritis are old age, sometimes there are other risk factors involved. Being overweight can cause your bones to rub against one another with more pressure. A poor diet may also be causes for arthritis in the cervical spine.

Other causes of arthritis in the neck may be genetics. Genetics determines the shape of your spine and similar spines degenerate similarly. According to a study done by Arthritis & Rheumatology on 326 sets of twins, genetics accounted for 79% of diseases of the cervical spine.

An injury, such as a tear in the spine may also be the cause of arthritis in the cervical spine. After an injury, the joint may become inflamed and painful. Only an arthritis specialist in NYC can diagnose and determine the cause of your cervical spine arthritis.

Signs and Symptoms

The first sign of arthritis in the spine is lower back pain and neck pain caused by the inflammation. The pain, at first, feels stiff and achy rather than sharp.  It may be difficult to move, stand, bend, or even sit for too long. Your pain may also radiate toward the shoulder. Symptoms develop into muscle spasms and a decreased range of motion in the lower back.

Do not let progressive neck and spine arthritis leave you immobile. The dedicated physicians at Pain Free NY diagnose and treat your neck and lower back pain caused by arthritis of the spine. The signs and symptoms may have a slow onset but, lead to further injury if left untreated.

How is Cervical Spine Arthritis Diagnosed?

The dedicated expert physicians at our advanced pain management center conduct a full physical examination for your symptoms of cervical spine arthritis. We will perform an X-ray, MRI, or CT scan of the lower back when necessary.

The arthritis specialist then assesses your pain level, duration of pain and range of motion to get an individualized diagnosis and treatment plan. The spine specialist needs to know when you first noticed the signs and symptoms of your cervical spine arthritis, how they progressed, and what makes the symptoms worse or better.


There is no cure for arthritis of the cervical spine, but, an arthritis specialist in NYC can treat your arthritis and ease your symptoms. Degenerative arthritis cervical spine treatments include Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) or other prescription medications. Our arthritis specialist may recommend specific lifestyle changes such as changing your diet or adding an exercise routine. Neck arthritis treatments also include hot and cold compresses to help reduce the pain in your neck and lower back.

Alternative Treatment Options

If you experience arthritis of the cervical spine pain and haven’t found lasting relief through more conventional arthritis of the cervical spine pain treatments, medical marijuana treatments offered by our doctors may be right for you. Call medical marijuana doctors of Pain Physicians NY with locations in Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan NYC, and the Bronx to help you determine if medical marijuana treatment is right for your arthritis of the cervical spine pain.

Pain Physicians NY provides a full range of advanced pain management services to help our patients return to a healthy and pain-free lifestyle. Our approach to pain care is individualized, and we providing the most effective treatments and utilizing the latest technologies available in the USA. The pace at which technology is growing can make last year’s methods obsolete. Our team is always at the top of their game and at the head of the pack.

We always consider non-invasive treatment options first before we turn to more invasive procedures like minimally invasive surgery.