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What is Spondylosis?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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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.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including The Health Board, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.
Discussion Comments
By anon149798 — On Feb 05, 2011

yoga really helps. i was diagnosed in my twenties, told I'd be in a wheelchair in the thirties. I am now 45, i am walking, running, and climbing, but if i don't exercise, the symptoms return, and i get sciatica, and rsi, and the pain in my back is horrible, so i try to make it part of my life every day.

By anon85492 — On May 20, 2010

The article is informative. I would like to know what type of surgery is done to alleviate acute pain caused due to chronic spodylosis and whether one can can get a permanent cure after the surgery.

By anon60534 — On Jan 14, 2010

I have mild lumbar spondylosis in l4-5 and l5-s1 what can i do about it if i don't have a enough money to see a specialist.

By anon50311 — On Oct 27, 2009

can mild early lower lumber spondylosis cause disability?

By lovebug1 — On Aug 27, 2008

can mild spondylosis and disc bulging get worse?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
Learn more
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