Your body tends to breakdown over time.Not taking care of yourself along with previous injuries, stress, and harmful daily activities will speed the breakdown process.
In the neck, the first stage of deterioration is a loss of the neck curve as well as other misalignments of the neck bones.This will cause some changes in the muscles and ligaments in this part of the body or vice versa.At this point the discs and bone are still normal.
As you progress in the breakdown process (stage 2) we then start to see joint and bone changes along with more severe muscle, ligament, and tendon changes.By the way, in stage I neck pain may be occasional, but then at this stage it will be happening more often and becoming chronic.
At stage 3 we now start to see major neck degeneration and loss of bone mass.You may even have the beginnings of neck fusion.Your health problems at this phase of degeneration will be severe and chronic.
The last stage of neck degeneration or arthritis is stage 4.Here we will have severe breakdown with actual fusion and collapsing of the neck vertebrae.Misalignments will now become permanent as well as the health problems.
At stage 1 and 2 we can still repair a lot of the problems or symptoms, but as we move into stage 3 or 4 they become very difficult, if not impossible, to change.That being said, do whatever you can do to keep your spine healthy or it can cause permanent health problems.