Almost all spondylosis causes can be attributed to the aging process. As people age, the spinal anatomy begins to break down as a result of everyday wear and tear. The back is involved in nearly every bodily movement, which places stress on the vertebrae, intervertebral discs, and other components of the spine. In addition, the cervical (neck) and lumbar (lower back) regions of the spine endure stress as they support the weight of the head and upper body, respectively. By the time most people reach middle age, these factors have taken their toll and degenerative conditions begin to develop. Another possible cause, though far less common, is injury to the vertebrae.
Conditions Associated With Spondylosis
The use of the term spondylosis causes confusion among some patients. That’s because even though many doctors use the term to refer specifically to osteoarthritis, it actually is a general reference to any kind of spinal degeneration. Specific degenerative conditions associated with spondylosis include:
- Arthritis of the spine – this affects the joints that connect the vertebrae, the facet joints.
- Degenerative disc disease – this affects the intervertebral discs, which begin to lose water and elasticity over time.
- Spinal stenosis – this is a gradual narrowing of the spinal canal or the foramina, which are passageways between vertebrae that allow nerve roots to exit the spine.
- Spondylolisthesis – this is a slippage of one vertebra over another, often caused by a compression fracture or degeneration of the supporting structures of the spine.
Mitigating Spondylosis Causes
Although there’s obviously no way to stop the aging process, spinal degeneration normally can be mitigated by regular low-impact spondylosis exercises, a healthy diet, avoiding smoking, and taking the steps necessary to ensure good overall health. Should a doctor recommend that you consider spondylosis surgery, contact Laser Spine Institute to learn how a minimally invasive, outpatient procedure performed using safe, effective endoscopic techniques can help you rediscover your life without back or neck pain.