It refers to degenerative changes in the spine such as bone spurs and degenerating intervertebral discs between the vertebrae. Spondylosis changes in the spine are frequently referred to as osteoarthritis.
- Spinal cord injury
Causes & Risk factors
Spondylosis is an ageing phenomenon. With age, the bones and ligaments in the spine wear, leading to bone spurs (osteoarthritis). Also, the intervertebral discs degenerate and weaken, which can lead to disc herniation and bulging discs. Symptoms are often first reported between the ages of 20 and 50. Over 80% of people over the age of 40 have evidence of spondylosis on X-ray studies. The rate at which spondylosis occurs is partly related to genetic predisposition as well as injury history.
- Spinal injury is also a risk factor for spondylosis. Injuries can cause intervertebral discs to herniated. Moreover, osteoarthritis is more likely to develop in injured joints, including joints in the spine. This can take years to build.
- Genetics is another risk factor for spondylosis. If many people in a family have spondylosis, there is likely to be a stronger genetic predisposition to spondylosis.
As it is a degenerative process, hence there is no treatment to reverse the process of spondylosis. Its treatments target the back pain and neck pain that spondylosis can cause. Therefore, the treatment is similar to that of back pain and neck pain. Available treatments fall into several categories, including medications, self-care, exercise and physical therapy, adjunctive therapies (chiropractic and acupuncture), minimally invasive procedures such as injections, and surgery.