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Spondylosis

Overview

Spondylosis, or more commonly called spinal arthritis, is a condition of the spine when it degenerates. It can affect the spine at any level, which results in discomfort that worsens with age.
There are several medical terms that sound similar to and are often confused with spondylosis including: Spinal stenosis, Spondylosis deformans, Spondylitis, Spondylolysis, Spondylolisthesis, and Spondylosis deformans.

Causes of Spondylosis

Spondylosis is primarily caused by aging. Through degeneration, spinal discs become thinner. The facet joints then begin to move because the discs lose their height. Finally, the cartilage that protects the facets begins to wear away. This can cause inflammation of the spinal nerve roots.

Symptoms of Spondylosis

Symptoms often depend on where the spine is affected by spondylosis. This condition can become disabling. The cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine all have different symptoms. Common symptoms include pain that comes and goes, stiffness when getting out of bed in the morning, tenderness, and numbness.

Diagnosis of Spondylosis

Investigations such as a CT scan, MRI, electromyography, myelogram, or x-ray make diagnosing this condition much easier. These examinations will consider the condition of the neck bone, spinal cord, nerves, boney tissues, soft tissue, and impaired muscle strength.

Treatment of Spondylosis

Pain relievers are the most effective for symptoms of spondylosis. Lifestyle changes and exercise (such as low-impact aerobic exercises) are sometimes advised. Surgery is only recommended is there is clear evidence that nerves are being pinched, spinal cord compression, or there is a slipped disc.

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