Cervical Spine (Neck)

The cervical spine or neck region consists of seven vertebrae (C1 to C7) at the top of the spinal column, each separated by intervertebral discs. These structures support your head and allow an extensive range of head and neck movements.

However, due to their critical function and complexity, they are also prone to various injuries and disorders. Disorders of this crucial part of your spine can lead to significant discomfort and disability.

Our clinic offers expert care for all forms of cervical spine conditions, employing the latest research, non-invasive therapies, and when indicated, surgical techniques, to provide you with the best possible outcomes.

Cervical Spine Videos

Common Cervical Spine Conditions

  • Overview: Often known as neck arthritis, cervical spondylosis is a common, age-related condition that affects the joints and discs in your cervical spine.
  • Causes: Aging is the primary cause, leading to the drying out and shrinking of the discs, alongside the formation of bone spurs.
  • Symptoms: Symptoms include pain and stiffness around the neck, occasionally extending towards the arms or chest, depending on the severity of the disc or bone involvement.
  • Risks: Risk factors include age, previous neck injuries, occupations requiring repetitive neck motions, or heavy lifting.
  • Treatment: Treatments range from conservative options like physiotherapy and medications to relieve pain and reduce inflammation, to surgical interventions in severe cases where neurological functions might be compromised.
  • Overview: This condition occurs when the nucleus pulposus (inner portion of a disc) breaks through the annulus (outer portion), compressing nearby nerves.
  • Causes: It can arise from strain or injury, contributing to the disc’s material pushing outward.
  • Symptoms: Pain, numbness, or weakness along the arm, shoulder, and neck are typical symptoms.
  • Risks: Factors include physical labour, repetitive movements, genetic predisposition, and obesity.
  • Treatment: Non-surgical treatments, such as rest, physical therapy, or corticosteroid injections, are first recommended. Surgery might be considered if symptoms persist or worsen.
  • Overview: Cervical stenosis involves a narrowing of the spinal canal that can compress the spinal cord and nerves.
  • Causes: Age-related changes, congenital disability, or spinal injuries can lead to stenosis.
  • Symptoms: Symptoms may include neck pain, a heavy feeling in the limbs, and difficulties with balance and coordination.
  • Risks: Advanced age and a history of spinal injury increase the likelihood of developing this condition.
  • Treatment: Depending on the severity, treatments can range from medications and physical therapy to surgical procedures like laminectomy or fusion to relieve pressure on the spinal cord and stabilise the spine.
  • Overview: This condition results from pressure on the nerve roots emerging from the cervical vertebrae, often due to herniated discs or bone spurs.
  • Causes: Herniation of a disc or the development of bone spurs that press on nerves.
  • Symptoms: Radiating pain, numbness, or weakness from the neck into the shoulders, arms, and fingers.
  • Risks: Risk factors include repetitive neck motion, heavy lifting, and previous neck or spinal injury.
  • Treatment: Treatment typically includes physical therapy, medications, and possibly steroid injections. Surgery may be necessary to alleviate severe pain or dysfunction.
  • Overview: A serious condition, cervical myelopathy involves compression of the spinal cord in the neck.
  • Causes: Chronic compression from cervical stenosis or sudden injury leading to pressure on the spinal cord.
  • Symptoms: Symptoms include difficulty with coordination, especially in the hands and feet, abnormal gait, and in severe cases, changes in bowel and bladder control.
  • Risks: Age-related degeneration is a significant risk factor, as are traumatic injuries and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Treatment: This condition is typically managed with surgical intervention to prevent further spinal cord injury and alleviate existing symptoms.

Why Choose Us?​

We understand that dealing with cervical spine issues can be daunting.

We are dedicated to quality patient care and optimising health outcomes, rooted in the latest advanced, non-invasive and surgical treatment options.

To achieve this, we employ a best-practice, patient-centric, multidisciplinary model of care, incorporating a wide range of allied health professionals and specialist physicians in your care where necessary, coordinated by your lead neurosurgeon, Dr Raoul Pope.

We offer a compassionate environment where you are listened to and respected, where a comprehensive diagnosis of your underlying condition is conducted, and a tailored treatment plan is developed in order to reduce or eliminate your pain and dysfunction, and improve your quality of life.

Book an Appointment

If you are experiencing symptoms or concerns related to a cervical spine condition, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial in preventing further complications and enhancing recovery.

Dr Raoul Pope is a highly experienced Neurosurgeon and sub-specialised Spine Surgeon with 20+ years of experience. He consults and operates across Sydney.

Dr Pope completed a sub-specialised, dedicated, international training fellowship in complex neurosurgical and orthopaedic spine surgery at a recognised, high-volume Centre of Excellence in spine surgery, in Canada.

He offers telehealth consultations and welcomes both private and public patients.