This aim of this study was to determine the effect of different conservative treatment methods on pain intensity, disability, quality of life, and mood in patients with cervical spondylosis during a 6-month period. The patients were randomized into three groups. The 1st group (n = 20) was treated with active and passive physiotherapy methods, the 2nd group (n = 20) with active treatment methods, and the 3rd group (n = 20) with medication, including nonsteroid anti-inflammatory and muscle relaxing medicines. The 1st and 2nd groups received individual exercise treatment according to their current problems as determined by the assessment. Pain recovery was found to be statistically significant after treatment and long-term follow-up for all three groups (P<0.05). Disability improvement was significant in all groups after treatment and 3rd months and only in 1st group after 6 months (P<0.05). Quality of life improvement was significant in all groups after treatment, at 3 months, and in the 1st and 2nd groups at 6 months (P<0.05). Psychological recovery was significant in all groups after treatment and in the 1st and 2nd groups during long-term follow-up (P<0.05). It was determined that patient satisfaction did not change in the 1st and 2nd group (P>0.05), but decreased in the 3rd group (P<0.05) during long-term follow-up. There was more improvement in the two groups receiving exercise treatment than the group receiving medical treatment. In conclusion, exercise treatment has an important role in achieving long-term recovery of problems occurring with cervical spondylosis. © Springer-Verlag 2011.