In general, spondylosis describes pain that comes from a degenerative condition of the spine. Osteoarthritis of the spine is most often referred to as spondylosis. Rather than being a clinical diagnosis, the term actually is more descriptive. As it is translated, it means that both pain and spine degeneration are present. It does not matter what the cause of the pain is or where the degeneration is located.
Spondylosis includes pain from facet joint osteoarthritis. This pain occurs during times of high activity as well as during periods of extended inactivity. It also includes the pain from spinal stenosis, which is a condition where the opening of the spinal canal narrows, causing painful walking. Degenerative disc disease is also included. With this condition, a disc in the spinal column loses its volume and some of its function. It can cause pain in the neck or lower back depending on where it is located. There are other possible contributors to spinal pain as well.
In order to successfully treat the pain, the location and cause of the pain must be determined. When a confirmed clinical diagnosis has been determined for your pain, a more specific term will be applied. Terms such as lumbar spinal stenosis, cervical spinal stenosis, osteoarthritis, lumbar degenerative disc disease and cervical degenerative disc disease describe the location of the problem, as well as what is causing the pain.
If your doctor tells you your pain is caused by spondylosis, you should ask for more details. Clarification of your condition will help direct the focus to the best type of treatment for you. When you know the cause of your pain, you are in a better position to advocate for effective treatments.
Older patients are often diagnosed with spondylosis. This is because spinal degeneration is a natural part of aging. Even though this is the case, your pain may not necessarily be caused by degeneration. Check to find out the source of your pain. Imaging scans can show multiple conditions. Even so, you may be experiencing one condition. For example, if your MRI results list cervical facet degeneration and cervical spondylosis, you may, in fact, have a clinical diagnosis of cervical osteoarthritis.
More on Cervical Spondylosis
Wear and tear or spinal discs in your neck may be referred to as cervical spondylosis. This wear and tear is a natural part of the aging process in which discs in the neck shrink with dehydration. Along the edges of the vertebrae, bone protrusions or bone spurs may develop. These are signs of osteoarthritis.
Most people over the age of 60 can expect to have some level of cervical spondylosis. Over 85% of senior citizens have this condition and most have no symptoms. For those that do have them, non-invasive treatments are often highly effective.
Symptoms of Cervical Spondylosis
If you have any symptoms of this condition, they usually present as pain and stiffness in the neck. Some individuals may have a narrowing of the canal through which the spinal cord passes. When this happens, there may be pressure on the nerve, which can lead to tingling or numbness in your legs and feet or arms and hands. You may also experience difficulty walking or a lack of coordination. In some instances, an individual may also have loss of bladder or bowel control. If you experience the latter or have numbness or weakness, you definitely need to seek medical attention.
There are certain risk factors associated with cervical spondylosis. They include:
- Age – the older you get, the more likely you are to have cervical spondylosis
- Occupation – this condition can also occur with jobs that require repetitive neck motions or awkward positioning. Excessive overhead work also leads to extra stress on neck muscles.
- Genetic Factors – you may be predisposed to spondylosis if you have relatives with the condition, and your experience may or may not include more of the changes than others.
- Smoking – research reveals that smokers have a tendency to have increased neck pain.
An accurate diagnosis and treatment are important to help avoid complications. Permanent damage can result from severely compressed nerve roots.
Pain relief from spondylosis is available at Manhattan Sports Therapy. Dr. Rolland Miro specializes in effective methods of pain relief using cutting edge technology and techniques. Contact our practice today to schedule an appointment for consultation and evaluation of your pain.