Cervical spondylosis is a term used for arthritis in the neck. It often refers to the degenerative changes going on in the cervical spine. Yes, this is part of the aging process for for some patients after years of trauma or bad posture, this can start early on.
Degeneration is often seen on a neck x-ray. For example, outgrowths coming from the neck bones called "spurs", misalignment of the bones in the neck, extra bony material that can build up and start to affect the nerves. If these spurs extend out into the canal where nerve roots exit, a radiculopathy can result. This can happen at any level in the neck. This irritation to the nerve root can be the cause of neck pain, shoulder pain, numbness and tingling, shooting pains and weakness in the upper extremity. With degeneration there can also be involvement of the discs. The discs themselves can thin out or degenerate. This again can put pressure on nerves.
So what type of pillow works well for this type of condition? In my experience you need to have a support pillow preferably with neck rolls. A Neck Roll Type of Pillows allows you to have optimal alignment while you are sleeping. It puts your neck into the correct position for for side sleeping and back sleeping. The pillow I am going to recommend specifically is called the arc4life traction v pillow. This pillow doesn't just give you support. It also gently stretches the neck. This is very important. Remember I just spoke about added pressure being placed on nerves for a patient with cervical spondylosis or degeneration? This pillow helps to alleviate that by increasing the space between each vertebrae. If you have a lot of sensitivity in the neck with increase pain or stiffness, use the support roll of the side because it keeps your spine in neutral position. You can use the traction side during the day. Simply lay on your back for 10-15 minutes (set a timer) on the traction v side.
More Reading Resources:
- Spinal stenosis and Cervical Arthritis in the Neck. What is the connection?
- How to Use the cervical linear traction neck pillow properly
- Stop Neck Pain by Improving Posture
- Making the Right Pillow Choices