Cervical spondylitis is an autoimmune disease of the upper (cervical) spine.
Your immune system normally protects your body from disease. An autoimmune disease causes your immune system to attack the cells in your body.
The joints that allow your spine to bend and flex are called facet joints. Cervical spondylitis inflames these joints causing pain and stiffness. In severe cases bones of the spine may fuse restricting movement.
The cause of spondylitis remains unknown but there is evidence that the condition is hereditary (passed by a family member).
How is cervical spondylitis treated?
Treatment for cervical spondylitis includes medication to control inflammation and your body’s immune system. Exercise and physiotherapy may also be prescribed. In severe cases surgery may be required.
Related tests and scans
Related treatments and procedures
X-Ray Guided Facet Joint Injection
A facet joint injection involves injecting local anaesthetics and sometimes steroids into or around a facet joint. The local anaesthetics numb the nerves to the facet joint to give pain relief. The steroids reduce inflammation and may make the pain relief last longer.