What is Spondylosis?

The spinal cord helps to support the body structure and weight of the individual. It also carries and protects the main nerve branches, which run from the brain. Vertebrates contain 24 bones including spine curved, not straight, lumbar parts of the spine, and the cervical thoracic. These bones and joints allow flexibility of the spine. These are called facet joints. Spinal Spondylosis usually occurs due to abnormal bone development or noninflammatory degenerative disease of the spine. Spondylosis is usually found in vertebrates and reduces the mobility of intervertebral joints. Spondylosis commonly occurs in aged men while compared to women. Symptoms of spondylosis will increase gradually and cause disabling tingling pain, limited motion, and partial paralysis. The thoracic spine will experience less effect than the lumbar and cervical spine. This is because the curvature present in the latter prevents spondylosis from impinging the spinal cord.  Lumbar and cervical spondylosis can occur simultaneously in the individual. Spondylosis occurs due to the excessive growth of bone and reactive osteoarthritis. 


Spondylosis Risk Factors 

Spondylosis Definition - wears and tear over the spin. The person with the following risk factors has a high chance of being affected by spondylosis. The risk factors are listed below. 

1. This may occur due to genetic tendency. 

2. A person with obesity or overweight has a high risk. 

3. Lack of exercise and sedentary lifestyle. 

4. Smoking

5. Overweight-bearing and repetitive stress for the spinal cord

6. The person with anxiety or depression 

7. A person having psoriatic arthritis. 

8. A person with spinal cord injury or spinal cord surgery. 


Symptoms of Spondylosis

People who are experiencing age-related spondylosis could not find any symptoms. But, some people will experience symptoms during sudden movements. At the initial stage of cervical lumbar spondylosis, it causes stiffness and mild pain. It may lead to severe symptoms if it remains untreated. The severe symptoms like muscle spasms and pain, poor coordination, weakness of hands or legs, headaches, loss of balance and difficulty in walking, loss of bladder or bowel control, and spins may create a grinding or popping feeling


Complications on Spondylosis

A person who has mild lumbar spondylosis will have some complications. The list of complications is listed below.


Spinal Stenosis: 

This occurs due to the narrowing of the canal in spinal cord nerves. Spinal stenosis may cause symptoms like pain in the neck or back, and it may extend to legs and cause problems in the feet, numbness, or weakness. 


Cervical Radiculopathy: 

Changes in a disc or bone will cause nerves in the spine to become shooting pain, hypersensitivity, numbness, and pinching. 


Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy: 

This is due to the spinal cord compressed or squeezed. Cervical spondylotic myelopathy causes symptoms like pain and numbness in the limbs, a loss of coordination in the hands, bladder problems, imbalance, and difficulty in walking. 


Scoliosis: 

This occurs due to the degeneration of facet joints and scoliosis in adults. 


Spondylosis Diagnosis Method 

To diagnosis, the spondylotic disease doctors will follow the physical examination methods as below. 


During General Screening 

1. Will check the range of motion in the neck

2. Will test the muscle strength and reflexes to find out one's pressure on spinal nerves or spinal cord. 

3. Notice the walk to identify the spinal compression 


Imaging Tests 

Image testing is a kind of screening process. These imaging tests can provide some detailed information about the infected part and help the doctor for further treatment.  


Neck X-Ray: 

To screen the abnormalities in the bone spurs can take an X-ray. Through X-ray, we can easily find the causes for neck stiffness and pain, tumors, infections, or fractures in the neck. 


CT-Scan: 

Through CT scan we can get more details about the bones  


MRI: 

To know a clear idea about the nervous system and its defects. MRI scan can be used. 


Myelography: 

During myelography, a tracer dye is injected into the spinal cord to provide clear X-ray or CT imaging.  

 

Nerve Function Tests

The physician will suggest a nerve function test to determine the flow of nerve signals and their traveling property through nerves. To perform nerve function tests physicians can use the following methods while screening mild lumbar spondylosis

 

Electromyography: 

By using electromyography, it is possible to measure the electrical activity of the nerves and their transmitting routes into the muscles during the contraction and resting position of muscles.  

 

Nerve Conduction Study: 

For nerve conduction study, electrodes are attached to the skin and small shocks are passed through the nerves to measure the strength and speed of the nerve signals. 

 

Spondylosis Treatment

Treatment for cervical lumbar spondylosis depends on the severity of the symptoms and signs of the spondylotic disease. The treatment will help to relieve pain and to maintain usual physical activities and prevent further injury in the spinal cord and nerves. 


To treat mild lumbar spondylosis, physicians will provide some medications like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants like cyclobenzaprine, corticosteroids, Anti-seizure medications like horizant, Neurontin, and Antidepressants. 


Therapeutic Treatments

Some mild lumbar spondylosis can be treated with therapies. The physiotherapist will help to stretch and strengthen the muscles of the neck and shoulders. People with cervical lumbar spondylosis can also benefit from the use of tractions, which can help to improve space between spines if nerve roots are merged. 


Surgery for Spondylosis 

The person, who could not benefit from the above treatments will move for surgery. Through surgery, it is possible to create more room for spinal cord and nerve roots. During surgery, doctors will remove a herniated disk or bone spurs, part of a vertebra, and fuse a segment of the neck using bone graft and hardware. 

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q1. What is the Main Cause of Spondylosis?

Ans: Spondylosis meaning arthritis type, which is caused due to wear and tear in the spin. Spinal spondylosis mainly happens when discs and joints degenerated. These can impair the spine movements and affect the nerves and other functions. Spondylosis mainly causes due to predominant aging, this is also known as spinal arthritis, The changes in various structures of the spine may occur, when putting the whole body through a lot of stress and strains for a long period of time. 

Q2. What is the Best Treatment for Spondylosis?

Ans: People who are experiencing aching, stiffness, or pain in the mid-back region due to muscle spasms or tightness may be the symptoms of spondylosis. If the spondylosis pressure occurs on the nerves and their surroundings may result in numbness, tingling, or pain in the chest, ribs, or abdominals areas is known as radiculopathy. The person who is affected by spondylosis can treat with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, antidepressant drugs, anti-seizure medications, corticosteroids, and muscle relaxant drugs.