What is spondylosis?

Spondylosis is a health condition that affects the shape and function of the spine. Essentially, spondylosis is a spinal degeneration that involves the unnatural formation of one or more of the vertebrae in the spinal column. It is generally understood that the condition is due to the onset of old age, although there are some factors that can lead to spondylosis in younger people.

A complicating factor of spondylosis is the development of hernias within the spinal column region. The presence of the herniation can create pressure on the discs that make up the spine and can lead to the formation of osteophytes that make deformation of the vertebrae much more likely. The hernia may be the result of an accident or some unusual degree of exertion that puts more pressure on the muscles and structure of the back than can be reasonably handled.

Spondylosis also involves narrowing of the space between two adjacent vertebrae. Without the space, it is possible for the vertebrae to compress the nerve roots and create a great deal of localized pain. General compression of the spine can also cause pain that travels throughout the body, affecting the arms, legs, shoulders, and neck, as well as the back. Spondylosis can also affect the function of various organs, leaving the individual with a general feeling of weakness, a reduced sense of balance, and loss of bladder and bowel control.

Depending on the severity of the condition, spondylosis can be treated with external devices, such as a neck brace. The collar helps move the vertebrae into a natural alignment and prevents nerve pinching. However, the use of external devices should be viewed as a means of providing temporary pain relief and not as a permanent solution.

Some relief may also be achieved with the use of osteopathic or chiropractic techniques administered by a healthcare professional. While it does provide long-lasting pain relief, it is important to remember that these therapies treat the symptoms and generally do not affect the reasons for the development of spondylosis. Surgery is generally required to create a more permanent solution to the condition.

Go up