Spondylosis: Symptoms, Causes & Treatments

What Is Spondylosis?

The word, “Spondylus” means vertebra, so broadly speaking the descriptive catch-all term spondylosis stands for or refers to degeneration of the spinal column – often arthritic in nature, for example, osteoporosis – regardless of the specific cause or location on the spine. Simply put, if your spine is degenerating or experiencing any issues connected with that (facet joint osteoporosis, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, etc.) then to a degree you’re dealing with spondylosis.

What Are the Symptoms of Spondylosis?

Great question! The answer depends on the specific cause and location. Did you know a good portion of the people with spondylosis do not experience any symptoms? Of course, back pain and inflammation may be involved for others, especially if there are any pinched nerves or nerve compressions involved. For example, if spondylosis causes a disc to slip in your lumbar spine, it could pinch your sciatic nerve and cause sciatica. Spondylosis is complex in that way because so much can be involved and connected to spinal degeneration.

What Are the Different Types of Spondylosis?

There’s a wide range since we’re referring to the general breakdown of the spinal column. And well, we simply don’t have room to publish a book’s worth of content here so we’ll talk briefly about the three primary sections of the spine:

  • Lumbar Spondylosis: Most common for spondylosis as it gets the brunt of the wear and tear, not to mention bearing the majority of the body’s weight.
  • Cervical Spondylosis: The neck area is also quite vulnerable because of the constant usage – most commonly seen in folks in the 50+ age range.
  • Thoracic Spondylosis: Less common, and can be confused with cardiovascular issues because of how the pain feels or develops in and around the chest region.

What Causes Spondylosis?

Most often it’s due to the cumulative wear and tear of life, less than optimal lifestyle habits and choices, long-term obesity, genetic predispositions (family history), injuries and, long-term participation in high-impact sports and fitness regimens.

How to Diagnose Spondylosis?

If you’re in Alaska, stop by any Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab clinic. We can help you review your medical history, discuss your symptoms, and then determine which if any tests should be performed, and complete a general assessment. These may include specific physical and neurological tests, along with imaging tests like x-rays or an MRI.

What Are the Treatment Options for Spondylosis?

Each chiropractor is a bit different. Better Health Chiropractic offers noninvasive, nonsurgical options that include the full range of chiropractic care, chiropractic massage therapy, and physical therapy modalities in all of our clinics. Beyond this, you may opt for temporary pain medications (NSAIDs) or even spinal injections. While seldom needed, surgery does not have to be the answer. What’s most important is getting an accurate diagnosis!

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How to Prevent Spondylosis?

Sure, all you have to do is develop the supernatural ability to withstand time. Then once you’ve stopped aging, it’s all about correcting your everyday posture, eating right, and getting in regular exercise to maintain a healthy BMI. If you call our office before 4 pm, we can schedule an appointment (Anchorage, Wasilla, Juneau), get you in and check you out the same day. From helping you with exercise and nutrition to spinal care, Better Health Chiropractic is one of Alaska’s most powerful spondylosis prevention tools.

Exercises for Spondylosis

All your spine asks is that you exercise regularly and change things up every once in a while. And, as you age gracefully to exercise smarter instead of harder – lower impact, great form, plenty of rest, a balanced mix of resistance training and aerobic, etc. Another big tip is that the stronger and stouter you make your lower body (legs!) and core, the easier you make it for your spine to do its job without sending pain signals.

What Is Multilevel Spondylosis?

Simply put, it’s degeneration of the spine in multiple areas or between multiple vertebrae in the same area. Our chances of developing multilevel spondylosis increase as we get older.

What Is the Difference Between Spondylosis and Arthritis?

This is a great question. It’s very common to see these two terms used together, so which one are you dealing with? The answer is that if you have arthritis or spinal arthritis, then you have a form of spondylosis.