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Spondylosis

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Spondylosis

Spondylosis is a medical term used to refer to the general degeneration of the spine and its shock-absorbing intervertebral discs. Degenerative changes may occur in the neck (known as the cervical region), middle back (thoracic region) or lower back (lumbar region) and tends to worsen with as an individual grows older. The United States currently sees more than 3 million cases of spondylosis per year, most of which usually appear in conjunction with other spinal issues. Spondylosis is a chronic condition that oftentimes lasts years or throughout a patient’s lifetime, but many people don’t have symptoms until the degeneration of the spinal column causes a secondary complication. While spondylosis can’t be cured, there are many advanced treatment options available to address the changes associated with this issue.

Causes

The primary underlying causes of spondylosis are aging and the general wear and tear associated with the body’s natural life. However, there are several factors that may exacerbate or worsen spondylosis. The following are some of the most prominent:

Unexpected or sudden injuries and traumas, such as might occur during manual labor, high-impact sports, motor vehicle accidents or hard fallsGenetic predisposition, congenital spine abnormalities or a family history of back painConditions like facet joint osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis or degenerative disc disease, benign or cancerous tumors, bone spurs and herniated or ruptured discsObesitySmoking and/or the excessive use of alcohol Malnutrition, Lack of exercise, Making repetitive movements that strain the spine, as one might in a profession that requires regularly lifting heavy objects, highly physical work or driving long distances. If you believe you have a high chance of developing spondylosis, schedule a consultation today with one of our Board-certified spine specialists. We are committed to helping you find safe and helpful ways to maintain long-term spine health, so that you can live an active and happy life.

Symptoms

Since spondylosis is a blanket term for spinal and disc degeneration, a variety of symptoms may arise depending on the location, severity and nature of the underlying problem. General symptoms to take note of include:

  • Lower back, middle back or neck pain
  • Herniated disc
  • Pinched nerve
  • Sciatic
  • Numbness and weakness in the affected area and associated limb
  • Tingling and pins-and-needles sensations in the affected area and associated limb
  • Headache
  • A limited range of motion, stiffness in spinal joints and the feeling that bones are “grinding” against one another
  • Trouble maintaining balance and the inability to perform in everyday activities without encountering pain or discomfort.

It is crucial to determine the problems associated with your unique case of spondylosis as quickly as possible, since many of the potential issues are dangerous and may lead to further complications. By promptly treating spondylosis, it can be possible to restore or safeguard your quality of life.

If incontinence of the bladder or bowels, immobility or fever are experienced in conjunction with back pain, call 911 immediately. Sometimes displaced elements of the spine can compress an important bundle of nerves, which spurs a life-threatening condition known as “cauda equina syndrome.”

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