A disorder affecting the joints between the cervical vertebrae (the neck bones). It mainly occurs in middle aged and elderly persons, but may also be the result of neck injuries such as whiplash in those of any age.
The main symptoms are neck pains and stiffness. The pain may spread to the arms and the shoulders, as well as numbness and tingling in the hands, due to nerve pressure. There is often a flare up of symptoms from time to time, with mild discomfort in between.
Xrays, and other screening can be used to diagnose cervical osteoarthritis.
Treatment of the neck pain and stiffness may involve heat treatment, a collar or brace for support, and analgesic drugs (pain killers). When pain has ceased, physiotherapy may be used to improve neck posture. Surgery may be needed to relieve pressure on the spinal cord.