What Patients Need to Know About Spondylosis
Spondylosis refers to an umbrella term for spinal conditions from ‘spine degeneration.” Spondylosis is a condition caused by age-related changes to the spine’s vertebrae, joints, and discs. As discs change by dehydrating and shrinking, signs of further degeneration of the spine may develop, and bone spurs may appear. Further, Spondylosis can manifest in the lumbar and cervical spine more frequently than in the thoracic spine
If you’re concerned about your spondylosis progressing, you can immediately schedule an appointment with a board-certified spine surgeon. Through a review of symptoms, a physical exam, and diagnostic imaging tests, a spine expert can accurately diagnose your condition and recommend appropriate treatments.
What is the Main Cause of Spondylosis?
Spondylosis is not caused by a single event but typically results from the body’s natural aging process. As patients age, the vertebrae and discs of the spine gradually develop wear-and-tear, and as a result, become stiffer and can break down. This degeneration can be seen in:
- Bone spurs – the spine may produce extra amounts of bone in an attempt to strengthen the spine, resulting in bone spurs. These bone spurs can end up pinching the spinal cord and nerve roots.
- Dehydrated discs – when the discs between the vertebrae dehydrate and shrink, they allow for the vertebrae to touch and make contact, which can cause discomfort.
- Herniated discs – when a disc cracks along its exterior, it may lead to a bulging and herniated disc, which can then compress or pinch the spinal cord and nerve roots.
- Stiff ligaments – the stiffening of ligaments can occur with age, making the neck and the back less flexible.
Along with age, other risk factors for spondylosis include previous injuries, genetic factors, poor body mechanics, or any physical activities or sports, which puts extra stress on the neck and back.
What Does Spondylosis Pain Feel Like?
When it comes to spondylosis, most people do not experience symptoms. While pain and stiffness are the most common symptoms, other telltale signs may include:
- Numbness, pins, and needles, or tingling
- Weakness in the arms, hands, legs, ankle, or feet
- Stiffness in the neck or back
- Shooting pain in the arms, buttocks, and legs
- Lack of coordination or difficulty walking
- Loss of bladder or bowel control, which is usually rare
Immediate same-day medical care becomes necessary when patients notice a sudden loss of bladder or bowel control. Urgent evaluation is needed if there is weakness, persistent numbness, or severe pain. An early Spondylosis diagnosis can help doctors recommend a conservative line of treatment to help reduce painful symptoms.
What is the Best Treatment for Spondylosis?
Treating spondylosis involves mostly non-surgical options, which are generally effective and successful. Over-the-counter medicines, hot and cold compresses, and daily exercise can be conducive to relieving pain or stiffness. Physical therapy is another non-surgical option that offers high success rates. If dealing with additional spine problems, like a herniated disc, more aggressive treatment might be necessary. To find out how to best treat your spondylosis, contact the board-certified surgeons at New Jersey Spine Specialists today.
What is the Difference Between Arthritis and Spondylosis?
In medical terms, spondylosis technically refers to arthritis that manifests specifically within the spine. While spondylosis is related specifically to the wear-and-tear patients might face in their spine, arthritis is a wider degeneration that may impact joints elsewhere in the body.
Seek Spondylosis Treatment at New Jersey Spine Specialists
With a staff of nationally recognized spinal care experts and spine surgeons in both their Summit and Montclair offices, the board-certified doctors at New Jersey Spine Specialists can help mitigate pain from Spondylosis, as well as other spinal conditions like herniated discs and spinal stenosis.
The board-certified doctors at New Jersey Spine Specialists can offer individual and specialized treatments at their offices in Summit and Montclair. All of our surgeons are board-certified medical doctors who have completed specialized spine fellowship training in addition to their residency.
Call 908 608-9619 today to make an appointment with expert spine specialists who can correctly diagnose you and help you further understand how to manage your spondylosis and alleviate your painful symptoms.
* Mayo Clinic: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cervical-spondylosis/symptoms-causes/syc-20370787
* Spine Health: https://www.spine-health.com/conditions/lower-back-pain/spondylosis-what-it-actually-means