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What is Spondylosis?


Spondylosis is the natural deterioration of the spine that happens as we age. Every one of our movements puts pressure on the spine, and the shock of those movements is cushioned by the discs between each vertebra. As we get older, our discs gradually dry out and wear down, and most of us will have spondylosis in our later years. The degree of pain and symptoms varies, with some ending up with chronic pain.

This gradual deterioration of the spine can also lead to other spine conditions, such as bone spurs, herniated discs and spinal stenosis. Chronic back or neck pain and stiffness are symptoms of spondylosis and associated problems.

If you’ve been living with back and neck pain, call [sc name=”patient_phone_number_dash”] and join the thousands who’ve been helped by Back Pain Centers of America. Our board-certified specialists offer minimally invasive treatments for spondylosis and the many other causes of back and neck pain.

Suffering from Spondylosis

Spondylosis Causes and Risk Factors

Spondylosis refers to the gradual deterioration of the spine that happens as we age. Certain factors increase the risk of spondylosis and associated spinal conditions like herniated discs and spinal stenosis.

These risk factors include:

  • Age – Spondylosis is a natural part of aging. The older we get, the more wear and tear there is on the spine.
  • Certain jobs – Any job that involves repetitive neck or back movements or being in an awkward position for extended periods, such as sitting hunched over a keyboard, puts extra stress on the spine.
  • Injuries – If you’ve had a previous back or neck injury, you’re at a higher risk of developing spondylosis.
  • Being overweight – Carrying extra weight places more pressure on the spine, resulting in more damage.
  • Sports – Certain sports cause extra wear on the spine and increase the risk of spondylosis and other spinal damage.

Spondylosis Symptoms

Spondylosis symptoms can range in severity depending on how damaged the spine is and what, if any, other spinal conditions you also have. The location of the damage also plays a role in the symptoms of spondylosis. Back or neck pain and stiffness are common symptoms of spondylosis. If the spinal cord or nerves become irritated or trapped because of bone spurs or a herniated disc, the pain intensifies and may be accompanied by:

  • Pain that radiates to the shoulders, arms or legs
  • Stiffness that is worse when you wake up
  • Pins and needles sensation (tingling)
  • Muscle weakness
  • Numbness

herniated disc back pain

Spondylosis Treatment Options

Spondylosis treatment usually begins with a combination of conservative treatment options and this approach is usually effective in treating mild spondylosis.

Treatment for spondylosis includes:

  • Over-the-counter (OTC) pain medication – OTC pain medications, such as analgesics and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can offer relief of mild to moderate pain and stiffness.
  • Muscle relaxants – Your doctor may prescribe muscle relaxants to help with muscle spasms.
  • Physical therapy – A physical therapist can teach you strengthening exercises and stretches to help strengthen the muscles around the spine to take pressure off the vertebrae and improve flexibility. They can also help you improve your posture, which can also alleviate stress on the spine.
  • Weight loss – Losing excess weight can take some of the pressure off of the spine and slow the progression of spondylosis.
  • Heat and cold – Applying heat and cold can sometimes help relieve stiffness and pain in the neck and back.
  • Steroid injections – Injecting corticosteroid medication into the spine can offer temporary relief of inflammation and pain. A numbing agent is sometimes used in combination with steroid medication for pain relief.

Depending on the cause of your pain and the extent of the damage in your spine, conservative spondylosis treatment may not provide sufficient relief. In these cases, surgery is often the best option.

There are several surgical procedures available to treat spondylosis and associated spine conditions, including minimally invasive spine surgery that can relieve neck and back pain, and other symptoms such as numbness and weakness, without the risk and long recovery time of traditional open surgery.

Minimally invasive surgery is available to treat the pain caused by:

If you’ve tried other spondylosis treatments and are still experiencing pain, call [sc name=”patient_phone_number_dash”], and one of our patient coordinators will match you with a licensed specialist who can help you. Our minimally invasive procedures have helped more than 30,000 people find relief and get back to living their active lives.

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