Spontaneous cervical arterial dissection (SCAD) is a non-traumatic tear or disruption in the wall of the internal carotid arteries or the vertebral arteries. It accounts for about 25% of strokes in patients aged under 45 years. Awareness of its clinical features and advances in imaging over the last two decades have contributed to earlier identification of this condition. SCAD has become the commonest form of vascular lesion identified in the cervical carotid and vertebral arteries, second only to atherosclerosis. This review is an update on the epidemiology, vulnerable arterial segments, risk factors, clinical features, diagnosis, current treatment and prognosis of SCAD.