Spondylosis refers to degenerative changes in the spine such as bone spurs and degenerating intervertebral discs between the vertebrae. Spondylosis changes in the spine are frequently referred to as osteoarthritis. Spondylosis can occur in the cervical spine (neck), thoracic spine (upper and mid back), or lumbar spine (low back). Lumbar spondylosis and cervical spondylosis are the most common.
Thoracic spondylosis frequently does not cause symptoms. Lumbosacral spondylosis is spondylosis that affects both the lumbar spine and the sacral spine. Spondylolysis is incomplete development and formation of the connecting part of the vertebra
Cervical spondylosis is a common, age-related condition that affects the joints and discs in the cervical spine, which is in the neck. It’s also known as cervical osteoarthritis or neck arthritis.It develops from the wear and tear of cartilage and bones. While it’s largely the result of age.Some people who have it never experience symptoms. For others, it can cause chronic,severe pain and stiffness. However, many people who have it are able to conduct normal daily activities.
- Bone spurs
- The greatest risk factor for cervical spondylosis is aging. Disc herniation, dehydration and bone spurs are all results of aging.
- neck injuries
work-related activities that put extra strain on the neck from heavy lifting
holding the neck in an uncomfortable position for prolonged periods of time or repeating the same neck movements throughout the day (repititive stress)
genetic factors (family history of cervical spondylosis)
being overweight and inactive
Symptoms of cervical spondylosis
One common symptom is pain around the shoulder blade. Some complain of pain along the arm and in the fingers. The pain might increase when:
tilting your neck backward
- muscle weakness
Muscle weakness makes it hard to lift the arms or grasp objects firmly.
- a stiff neck that becomes worse
headaches that mostly occur in the back of head
- tingling or numbness that mainly affects the shoulders and arms, although it can also occur in the legs
- Symptoms that occur less frequently often include a loss of balance and a loss of bladder or bowel control. These symptoms warrant immediate medical attention.
Lumbar spondylosis is a degenerative condition that develops gradually over time, being more common in older individuals.
This condition can also be referred to as spinal osteoarthritis. It occurs due to the wear-and-tear of the bones that happens from normal everyday movement.
The lower spine is composed of disc-like structures that are cushioned by soft gel-like sections in between them. The purpose of these sections is to promote flexibility and absorb the load of stress applied to the vertebra. Degeneration of these areas causes a loss of elasticity and a propensity to be torn or damaged. If this type of damage were to occur, it may lead to a condition called disc prolapse, disc herniation, or a slipped disc—a common feature of lumbar spondylosis.
The degenerative changes in the spine of people with lumbar spondylosis generally begin by age 30.
- Aging: Being over the age of 40 increases one’s risk for lumbar spondylosis.
- Abnormal spinal movement
- Prolonged sitting
- Prior injury
- Localized pain
- Pain after prolonged sitting
- Worsening pain after repeated movement
- Muscle spasms
- Regional tenderness
- Tingling, numbness in the limbs
- Weakness of affected limb due to possible nerve compression