Understanding Spinal Osteoarthritis

pondylosis, also known as spinal osteoarthritis, is a condition that occurs due to the degeneration of discs and joints. This type of arthritis impairs spine movement and negatively affects the nerves. Steve Paragioudakis, MD, and Marc Menkowitz, MD, offer Shrewsbury spondylosis treatment services at the Center for the Functional Restoration of the Spine.

Types of spondylosis

 Different types of spondylosis develop in different parts of the spine:

  •       Cervical spondylosis, which develops in the neck during aging.
  •         Thoracic spondylosis, which develops in the middle of the spine.
  •         Lumbar spondylosis, which develops in the lower back.
  •         Multilevel spondylosis, which develops in multiple parts of the spine.

Cause of spondylosis

Spondylosis is majorly caused by bone wear and tear.

Risk factors for spondylosis

You are at risk of developing spondylosis if you:

  •         Have a family history of spondylosis: Spondylosis can be genetically inherited
  •         Are overweight or obese
  •         Engage in unhealthy lifestyle choices like smoking and lack of exercise
  •         Have a spinal injury
  •         Have undergone spine surgery
  •         Have psoriatic arthritis
  •         Practice repetitive or movements that involve heavy lifting affecting the spine
  •         Have a mental health issue like depression and anxiety

Symptoms of spondylosis

Most patients with spondylosis develop symptoms as the condition progresses, and this could take up to years. The symptoms of spondylosis include:

  •         Stiffness in the lower back
  •         Mild lower back pain that gets worse when you are active or after sitting for periods
  •         Headaches
  •         Loss of bladder or bowel control
  •         Loss of balance and difficulty walking
  •         Tight hamstring muscles
  •         Poor coordination
  •         Muscle spasms
  •         Increased inward curvature in your lower back
  •         A grinding or popping feeling when moving the spine
  •         Weakness in the hands or legs
  •         Spondylolisthesis: A condition where the vertebra slips out of place

Diagnosis of spondylosis

Spondylosis is diagnosed through a physical exam. Your care provider may perform additional imaging tests like an X-ray CT scan or MRI to better understand your condition’s severity. During the physical assessment, your care provider will also review your symptoms and your medical and family history.

Treatment of spondylosis

Spondylosis can be treated through home remedies, including:

  •         Purchasing over-the-counter pain relief medication, for example, spinal epidural injections, or certain nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen.
  •         Physical therapy: Certain exercises and massages can help reduce the symptoms of spondylosis.
  •         Maintaining correct posture: Avoid habits like slouching, which worsens the pain.
  •         Providing back support: Choose furniture, for example, chairs and mattresses that provide back support.
  •         Staying physically active: Low-impact exercise, for example, walking, can strengthen and enhance flexibility in the muscles that support the spine.

If your symptoms persist after trying the above home remedies, seek medical care immediately.

Your care provider might recommend surgery, which involves taking pressure off the spinal nerves through spinal decompression and restoring spinal stability through fusion. If your pars fracture has progressed, causing spondylolisthesis, surgery is the best treatment option for you.

Your doctor may also recommend additional ways to manage symptoms like nerve pain, including electrical stimulation, acupuncture, chiropractic treatment, and ultrasound treatment.

Start taking control of your spondylosis by following the above home treatment remedies. If symptoms persist, contact the Center for the Functional Restoration of the Spine by phone, or book an appointment online to get exceptional spondylosis treatment.