Spondylosis, or spinal degeneration, is commonly caused by natural deterioration as we grow older. It also has contributing factors that can aggravate it.
Age-Related Spinal Change
Age-related change in your spinal column is the most likely underlying cause of spondylosis, which is an overall term for spinal degeneration often associated with osteoarthritis. In early life, your spine has not been subjected to the accumulating wear and tear that inevitably marks the journey through middle age and beyond. However, the older you get, the greater the chance you have of experiencing the consequences of this wear and tear.
In the case of spondylosis, relevant age-related changes in your spine health include losing some of the moisture inside your cushioning spinal discs, developing bulging or ruptured discs in your spine, developing overgrowths of bone in your spine called bone spurs and accumulating calcium deposits in the ligaments that help hold your spine together.
Disc dehydration produces problems by shrinking the overall size of your spinal discs and increasing the odds that the bones above and below a disc will make abnormal contact. This is often diagnosed as degenerative disc disease.
Ruptured or bulging discs produce problems by significantly changing the shape of a spinal disc or releasing a disc’s soft interior into the spinal column. In turn, either one of these changes can put excessive pressure on the spinal nerves or the spinal cord.
Bone spurs also produce problems by intruding on the spaces normally reserved for the spinal nerves and spinal cord. Calcium deposits in your spinal ligaments produce problems by decreasing your spine’s flexibility.
Spondylosis can appear in the cervical section of your spine (located in your neck region), the thoracic section of your spine (located in your mid- or upper back) or the lumbar section of your spine in your lower back. Age-related back change may manifest in different ways in each of these spine areas.
While indications of spondylosis are common past the age of 60, many people successfully avoid developing symptoms. Factors that can increase your chances of experiencing problems include leading a physically inactive lifestyle, carrying significant excess body weight and performing a job that regularly involves repetitive back stress. Additional contributing causes of spondylosis include having an advanced form of spinal arthritis, sustaining neck damage from an accident or any other source of injury and experiencing the spinal fractures associated with advancing osteoporosis.
How is Spondylosis Treated?
Spondylosis treatment depends on you – your specific physiology and how advanced your case is. The North American Spine medical team and your physician will thoroughly evaluate your situation and recommend a treatment plan to provide both maximum relief and minimum recovery time. Treatment plants are grouped into three categories:
It has now been over one year from my herniated disc procedure and I am still very much pain free. My only wish is that this minimally invasive option was offered 20 years ago.