Cervical facet arthritis (also known as cervical spondylosis or cervical osteoarthritis) is one of the most common causes of neck pain. It is a chronic degenerative condition of the cervical spine affecting the cervical facets, the intervertebral disks, the vertebral bodies and the spinal canal.
Pain, inflammation soreness and stiffness occur when wear and tear of the facet joints in the cervical spine causes the breakdown of cartilage. This causes the parts of the joints to rub together which results in stiffness, inflammation and pain. If cervical facet arthritis is left untreated it can cause significant and debilitating pain.
Cervical facet arthritis typically affects those who are 50 years and older, but it can occur much earlier in life. The pain from cervical facet arthritis can range from mild to severe cases and occur at the base of the skull, upper back and shoulders, mid-back or neck. It may also cause headaches. Many cases occur after a neck injury as in a rear-ending auto accident.
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