Spondylosis may be accelerated by injury to the spine, but more often this condition develops as a result of the natural weakening of the spine with age. Spondylosis is a condition that describes the presence of deterioration at different levels of the spine. This umbrella term isn’t a diagnosis, but may explain the source of neck or back pain. For example, the degeneration of the spine caused by a damaged disc or joint could fall under the term spondylosis. In some cases, injury that causes short term neck or back pain can contribute to spondylosis later in life.
While spondylosis is associated with degeneration diseases of the spine, it does not always result in back pain. For many patients, there is a level of spinal degeneration that goes unnoticed because it is not compressing a nerve root. However, if a nerve root is compressed, symptoms of pain, limited mobility and muscle weakness may develop. Read on to get an overview of spondylosis symptoms and treatment options, including the minimally invasive spine surgery offered at USA Spine Care.
Spondylosis can develop in the lumbar spine (lower back), cervical spine (neck) and thoracic spine (middle back) because of the burden of weight and stress placed on these areas of the spine. Over the years, this pressure takes its toll on the spine and eventually the discs, joints and vertebrae begins to deteriorate. This process often develops gradually and can take many forms:
- The soft discs that cushion the spine can weaken, thin or rupture
- The facet joints that interlock adjacent vertebrae become inflamed and arthritic
- Osteophytes, or bone spurs, develop in the spinal column
- The spinal canal and foramina gradually narrow causing nerve compression (spinal stenosis)
- Muscles, tendons and ligaments slowly weaken
Furthermore, spondylosis can result in pain associated with nerve compression as well as pain associated with the inflammation of surrounding structures. The pain can also radiate to the extremities and is followed by numbness, tingling and weakness or in severe cases, loss of bowel and bladder control. These symptoms can be accelerated by traumatic injury as well as minor injury from repetitive motions like lifting or bending and high-impact sports, which can put stress on the spine and lead to advanced deterioration earlier in life.
If you are experiencing neck or back pain, visit your doctor to determine whether spondylosis or injury is the cause. In many cases, pain and symptoms can be managed with a steady course of conservative treatments, including the use of anti-inflammatories, pain medications or muscle relaxants as well as physical therapy or chiropractic treatment. If these nonsurgical therapies are insufficient, more aggressive approaches like pain or cortisone injections, may be useful in alleviating your spondylosis pain.
However, if your pain continues, you may be a candidate for the minimally invasive spine surgery at USA Spine Care. Our procedures offer several advantages over traditional open neck and back surgery, including no lengthy recovery and lower risk of complication.^ While many cases of spondylosis can be treated with a decompression surgery, some severe cases may necessitate a restabilization procedure, such as artificial disc replacement or fusions. Both types of procedures are performed as an outpatient surgery in one of our state-of-the-art surgery centers located across the United States.
Since 2005, we have helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from their chronic neck or back conditions. Contact USA Spine Care today and request a no-cost MRI review,* so we can help you on your journey to wellness by learning if our outpatient procedures would be effective in relieving your spondylosis symptoms.
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