Spondylosis is a health condition that impacts the form and function of the spine. Essentially, spondylosis is spinal degeneration that involves the unnatural formation of one or more of the vertebrae in the spine. Generally, the condition is understood to be due to the onset of advancing age, although there are some factors that may lead to spondylosis in younger persons.
One complicating factor of spondylosis is the development of hernias within the region of the spinal column. The presence of the hernia can create pressure on the discs making up the column and can lead to the formation of osteophytes that make the deformation of vertebrae that much more likely. The hernia can be the result of an accident or some degree of unusual exertion that puts more strain on the muscles and structure of the back than can be reasonably handled.
Spondylosis also involves the reduction of space between two adjacent vertebrae. Without the space, it is possible for the vertebrae to compress nerve roots and create a great deal of localized pain. The overall compression of the spinal column can also result in pain that travels throughout the body, impacting the arms, legs, shoulders and neck as well as the back. Spondylosis may also impact the function of various organs, leaving the individual with a sense of general weakness, a reduced sense of balance, and the loss of bladder and bowel control.
Depending on the severity of the condition, spondylosis may be treated with external devices, such as a neck collar. The collar helps to move vertebrae back into a natural alignment and prevent the pinching of nerves. However, 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 that are administered by a healthcare professional. While providing longer lasting relief from pain, it is important to remember that these therapies treat symptoms and generally d not impact the reasons for the development of spondylosis. Generally, surgery is required to create a more permanent solution to the condition.