Spondylosis is a blanket term used to describe pain related to degenerative conditions of the spine, such as osteoarthritis. Spondylosis is not a clinical diagnosis, but instead more of a descriptive term.
Spondylosis can occur in the cervical spine (the neck), thoracic spine (upper to mid back), and the lumbar spine (lower back). The most common form of spondylosis is lumbar and cervical. Although thoracic spondylosis does exist, most often no symptoms occur.
Who is at Risk for Developing Spondylosis
As you age, your spine naturally begins to degenerate. Normal wear and tear can cause osteoarthritis, also known as OA or degenerative joint disease. Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage that is located at the end of the bone begins to wear down, resulting in bone spurs. Also, as intervertebral discs weaken and degenerate, herniated or bulging discs may occur, resulting in spondylosis.
Studies show that 80% of people over the age of 40 have evidence of spondylosis on imaging tests. For this reason, if you are experiencing pain, it is wise to be evaluated by a spine specialist, such as the doctors at The Physician’s. Since degeneration is common as you age, having degeneration present on a diagnostic test, such as an MRI, CT scan, or X-Ray does not give clear answers as to where the pain is stemming from.
Symptoms of Spondylosis
Although degeneration may be present on an imaging test, many times no symptoms occur. At times, spondylosis can cause symptoms, such as:
- Back pain
- Neck pain
- Pinched Nerve
- Chronic Pain
- Regional tenderness
- Muscle spasms
- Trigger Points
Causes of Spondylosis
Commonly spondylosis is caused by an underlying condition, such as one of the following:
- Lumbar degenerative disc disease
- Lumbar spinal stenosis
- Cervical degenerative disc disease
- Cervical spinal stenosis
In order to determine what is causing your Spondylosis, The Physician’s will determine which part of the spine is degenerating. Your physician will perform a physical exam and order diagnostic testing, such as an MRI, X-Ray, or CT scan. Your doctor will review the findings to determine if degeneration is present.
If you are suffering from degeneration in the facet joints, then most likely your spondylosis is caused by osteoarthritis. If the degeneration is in your spinal discs, most likely your spondylosis is caused by degenerative disc disease. Once it is determined what is causing the pain, your physician will outline a course of treatment.
Although there is no cure for spondylosis, your physician will develop a treatment plan to help manage your pain and symptoms. Treatment options may include:
- Diet and Exercise, including maintaining a healthy weight and exercising to strengthen muscles.
- Physical therapy, occupational therapy, or adjunctive therapies such as chiropractic care or acupuncture.
- Managing symptoms, such as pain, stiffness, and swelling through medications such as anti-inflammatory or steroid drugs.
- Surgery if needed to repair or replace damaged discs.
Visit The Physicians Today!
If you are suffering from spondylosis, schedule an appointment with The Physician’s today. Our highly trained medical staff will aid in diagnosing and treating your symptoms through minimally invasive techniques. There is no need to live with pain. Call us today to find a solution to your spondylosis.