Spondylosis is a type of arthritis that is responsible for the wear and tear of the spine. It happens when discs and joints degenerate when bone spurs grow on the vertebrae or both. These changes not only affect the spine’s movement but also affect the nerves and other functions.
Cervical spondylosis is very common and gets worse with age. More than 85 percent of people who are older than 60 years get affected by cervical spondylosis. Although, people experience no symptoms from these problems. However, when symptoms occur, nonsurgical treatments are usually effective.
Causes of spondylosis
As you age, the bones and cartilage that make up your backbone and neck slowly develop wear and tear. There are other causes which include:
- Dehydrated disks – Disks act as cushions between the vertebrae of your spine. By the age of 40, most people drying out and shrinking of spinal disks. This results in more bone-on-bone contact between the vertebrae.
- Herniated disks – Age also affects the exterior of your spinal disks. Several cracks often appear, which leads to bulging of the disks. As a result, it creates pressure on the spinal cord and the nerve roots.
- Bone spurs – The degeneration of the disks often results in the extra production of bones in the spine. However, this is a misguided effort to strengthen the spine. As a result, these bone spurs can sometimes pinch the spinal cord and nerve roots.
- Stiff ligaments – Ligaments are the cords of tissue that connect bone to bone. Spinal ligaments get stiffer with age, making your neck less flexible.
The common symptoms you will face are stiffness and mild pain that can get worse. Sitting for long periods without moving is one example that can cause you symptoms of spondylosis.
More severe symptoms include:
- A grinding or popping sensation while moving the spine.
- Weakness in the hands or legs.
- Poor coordination.
- Muscle stiffness and pain.
- Loss of balance and difficulty in walking.
- Loss of bladder or bowel control.
So, if a person experiences pain, they can try the following steps:
- Over-the-counter pain relief medication: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen will help you in this case.
- Keeping physically active: Low-impact exercise, such as swimming or walking, will help you to maintain the flexibility and strength of the muscles that support the spine.
- Improving posture: Slouching, for example, can make the pain worse.
- Physical therapy: A physical therapist may suggest specific exercises or massage.
- Acupuncture, chiropractic treatment, massage, ultrasound treatment, and electrical stimulation may also help you.
- Back support: You may need to choose a chair or mattress that will support your back in a better way.
- Rest during periods of inflammation: When symptoms are causing more trouble, try to rest for a while.
Have queries or concern ?
Spondylosis is a common problem that affects the spine, and most people are likely to develop some symptoms of spondylosis as they get older. In the beginning, you will not experience symptoms, or the symptoms will be mild.
However, if there is numbness and weakness and the pain is severe then it will affect your quality of life, and the doctor may recommend surgery.
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