In this article we will look at:
- What is spondylosis?
- How does spondylosis occur?
- Who is Prone to spondylosis?
- What are the Symptoms of spondylosis? How is spondylosis diagnosed?
- What are the Complications of spondylosis?
- What is the Treatment for spondylosis?
- Did You Know?
What is spondylosis?
Spondylosis also goes by the name as “cervical spondylosis.” This is quite a common, age-related health condition that is known to affect the discs and joints located in the cervical spine –the neck region of the body. The cervical spondylosis also goes by the name neck arthritis or cervical osteoarthritis. Usually, the conditions associated with cervical spondylosis arise from the regular wear & tear of the bones and cartilages located in the neck region. While cervical spondylosis mostly occurs due to age, it could also be caused by other additional factors.
In cases of the spinal spondylosis, some individuals could experience cervical spondylosis dizziness, stiffness, chronic & severe pain in the neck region. However, in some cases, people having cervical spondylosis have also reported carrying on normal day-to-day activities with minimal or no symptoms.
How does spondylosis occur?
The protective cartilage and bones that are present in the neck region are quite prone to wear & tear during the daily course of life. This could lead to the condition referred to as spondylitis neck or cervical spondylosis. Some of the possible causes of spondylosis include:
- Bone Spurs: The overgrowth of the bones in the neck or spine area could be due to the body trying to grow some extra bone for making the spine stronger. However, the growth of extra bones could start pressing on the delicate areas of the spine including the spinal cord, nerves and surrounding muscles –leading to pain & discomfort.
- Herniated Discs: This happens due to the development of cracks in the spinal discs. These cracks allow the leakage of the internal material required for cushioning. The material could press on the nerves & spinal cord and would thus, result in spondylosis symptoms including pain radiating down to the arms and numbness.
- Dehydrated Spinal Discs: The bones in the spine contain discs between them. The discs are thick, paddy cushions that help in absorbing the shock of twisting, lifting, and other rigorous activities. The presence of the gel-like material between the discs of the spine bones could dry out with the passage of time. This would lead to the spinal bones referred to as spinal vertebrae to rub against each other that could result in immense pain. This process usually starts at the age of 40 years.
- Injury: If you have received some injury in your neck during some accident or fall, then this could accelerate the aging process of the spinal cord leading to spondylosis.
Who is Prone to spondylosis?
The condition of spondylosis is more prevalent in people over the age of 60 years –they have 85 percent more chances of developing the conditions of cervical spondylosis than young individuals. In addition to age being a major factor, other factors including accident or injuries could also contribute to the symptoms associated with cervical spondylosis.
What are the Symptoms of spondylosis? How is spondylosis diagnosed?
In most cases, people having cervical spondylosis do not report suffering any major symptoms at all. When the cervical spondylosis symptoms do occur, these might range from being mild to severe and could also develop gradually or even instantly.
One of the most common symptoms associated with cervical spondylosis is pain around the shoulder blade. Some individuals might complain of having pain along the entire arm & fingers as well. The pain in such cases might increase while standing, lifting heavy objects, sitting constantly, sneezing, tilting the neck backward, and other specific positions.
Some of the other common symptoms related to cervical spondylosis might include:
- Stiffness in the neck muscles
- Constant headaches that usually occur towards the back of the head
- Numbness or tingling affecting the arms and shoulders –could also occur in the legs
While making the diagnosis of cervical spondylosis, it is essential for the doctor to rule out the possibility of having fibromyalgia. The diagnosis process for checking spondylosis would involve going through specific tests for determining the ease of movement affecting the muscles, nerves, and surrounding bones.
Some of the typical tests used for diagnosing cervical spondylosis include imaging tests like X-rays, CT scans, MRI scans, EMG (Electromyogram), and others.
What are the Complications of spondylosis?
- Spinal nerve injury
- Neck injuries
What is the Treatment for spondylosis?
The treatment for spondylosis would focus on minimizing the pain and lowering the risk of causing any permanent damage. Here are some possibilities:
- Physical Therapy: Depending on your symptoms, the doctor might suggest your case to a physical therapist. By suggesting proper exercises & movements of the neck & shoulder muscles, you can achieve great relief from the pain due to spondylosis.
- Medications: Your doctor might suggest some medications including muscle relaxants, anti-epileptic drugs, narcotics, steroid injections, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
- Surgery: When the condition becomes severe, then surgery of the affected area remains the only option to get relief from the pain.
Did You Know?
- Spondylosis happens to be a degenerative process
- Spondylosis usually develops over the age of 40 years
- Men generally develop spondylosis before women
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