This condition is a degeneration of the spine that can affect the spine at any level, resulting in pain and discomfort that can grow worse over time.
This condition most commonly results from normal
wear and tear associated with aging.
The degeneration process usually begins with the
discs. As the body gets older, the spinal discs begin
to dry out, lose their elasticity and collapse. The
thinning of the discs places stress on the facet
joints and the ligaments that hold the vertebrae
together. These structures weaken, allowing the
vertebrae to become overly mobile.
Causes of Pain
The vertebrae may begin to shift out of proper
alignment and rub against each other. Bony
growths called bone spurs may form on the irritated
vertebrae. The vertebral shifting and the excess
bone growth can reduce the space through which
the nerve roots travel, and the nerve roots or the
spinal cord can become painfully compressed.
Symptoms: Cervical Spondylosis
Degeneration in the cervical spine may cause neck,
shoulder and arm pain. It may also result in loss of
fine motor skills, weakness, numbness and tingling
in the arms and legs.
Symptoms: Thoracic Spondylosis
Degeneration in the thoracic spine may cause pain
in the chest and upper abdomen. It may also result
in weakness, numbness and tingling in the legs.
Symptoms: Lumbar Spondylosis
Degeneration in the lumbar spine may cause pain
in the back, buttocks, or legs, with possible
numbness, and muscle weakness that may be
worsened by activities such as lifting, bending,
twisting, or sitting.
Treatment options include anti-inflammatory
medications, physical therapy, rest, lumbar
supports and spinal injections. In severe cases,
surgery may be needed.