Cervical spondylosis is a broad term which describes the age related chronic disc degeneration. The degenerative changes start in the intervertebral disc with osteophyte formation and lead to physiological degenerative cascade that contributes to biomechanical changes that result in neural and vascular compression. Autonomic nervous system (ANS) influences the functions of nearly all organ systems. It is responsible for maintaining homeostasis of the internal environment, achieved by a complex integration of autonomic and somatic sensory information and descending influences from higher centers. The aim of our study was to assess the level of autonomic activity by studying the galvanic skin response in patients with cervical spondylosis and to compare it with healthy controls. Galvanic skin response (GSR) is an electro-dermal response based on the temporary change in skin electrical resistance and determines the change in electric conductivity of the skin caused by increase in activity of sweat glands. Tonic skin conductance varies with sympathetic activity. The GSR in patients of cervical spondylosis, recorded as an absolute conductance in microsiemens (µS) was found to be significantly increased (p< 0.05), implying a higher level of sympathetic activity.
Cervical spondylosis, Autonomic nervous system, Galvanic skin response.