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Spondilitis / Spondylosis

Spondilitis / Spondylosis

What is Spondylosis?

In its simplest possible form, spondylosis can be defined as arthritis of the spine. It is the sequelae of the aging spine. Spondylosis can affect any/all regions of the spine, determining what symptoms you have. You can have spondylosis in your neck (cervical spondylosis), mid-back (thoracic spine), or low back (lumbar spondylosis).

What are the common symptoms in spondylosis?

Neck (Cervical spine)

  • Pain that comes and goes
  • Morning neck or shoulder stiffness or a limited range of motion after getting out of bed
  • Neck or shoulder tenderness or numbness
  • Weakness or tingling in your neck, shoulders, arms, hands, or fingers
  • Headache in the back of your head
  • Loss of balance

Low back (lumbar spine)

  • Pain that comes and goes
  • Morning low back stiffness after getting out of bed
  • Pain that decreases with rest or after exercise
  • Low back tenderness or numbness
  • Sciatica (mild to intense leg pain)
  • Difficulty walking`

What is the cause of spondylosis?

The aetiology/cause of neck pain is multifactorial, there is no evidence to prove/disprove the quantitative effect of one or other. The risk factors for neck pain can be:

  • Aging: as a part of the normal age-related degenerative process.
  • Lifestyle: Stress and emotional tension, poor posture -standing for long periods of time or sitting incorrectly can cause neck pain, heavy physical work, lifting or forceful movement, bending, or awkward positions can really hurt your neck/back.
  • Injuries and Accidents: Injury to muscle, ligaments, or soft tissue can lead to back/neck pain.
  • Obesity: along with weak abdominal muscles often disrupt the spine's balance, causing your back/neck to bend uncomfortably to compensate.

Will I need surgery for spondylosis?

For patients diagnosed with spondylosis, the best news is that it seldom requires spine surgery. Non-surgical treatments, such as medications or physical therapy, work quite well in reducing patients' pain levels, and those treatments are almost always tried first for several months.

However, surgery is necessary for a few scenarios:

  • You have spinal stenosis along with spondilitis, and your doctor feels that surgery is the best way to treat it.
  • Your spine is unstable. As spondylosis affects the parts of your spine, especially your facet joints (the joints that help control the spine's movements), your spine can develop spinal instability. An unstable spine puts you more at risk for developing neurological problems/pain.
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