Lumbar spondylosis can include a variety of symptoms, the most common of which are pain, tingling, numbness, and weakness, that begin in your lower back and radiate through your buttocks, hips, legs, feet, and toes. Lumbar spondylosis is a general term that describes degeneration of the spine (“spondy” meaning spine and “losis” meaning problem), but it does not describe the specific source of symptoms. Many doctors refer to arthritis of the spine as spondylosis, but spondylosis could also apply to degeneration of the intervertebral discs or degeneration of the vertebrae themselves.
Describing Pain to Your Physician
When you meet with your physician about your lower back pain, he or she will do a full physical exam and ask about your medical history and lumbar spondylosis symptoms. Below are a few questions you can expect:
- Where do you experience pain? Mostly in your hips and buttocks? Mostly in one or both legs?
- How frequently do your symptoms occur? All day? Sporadically? Only after rigorous activity?
- What is the nature of your symptoms? Burning? Throbbing? Tingling? Sharp pain?
- Is there a certain time of day when your symptoms are worse? Right when you wake up?
- Are you currently taking any over-the-counter medications to alleviate your symptoms?
- Are there any activities that you are prevented from doing because of your lower back pain?
- On a scale of 1-10, how disruptive are your lumbar spondylosis symptoms to your life?
- How often do you exercise? Describe your diet. Do you smoke or consume alcohol?
Treating Lumbar Spondylosis Symptoms
Keep in mind that lumbar spondylosis is not a diagnosis. Your physician will need to explore the specific condition, like a herniated disc, a bulging disc, bone spurs, or spondylolisthesis, which is a result of your degenerative spine, because these spinal abnormalities exert the neural pressure causing your symptoms.
In the majority of cases, a regimen of conservative, nonsurgical treatment will be enough to successfully manage your symptoms. In rare cases, when lower back pain persists despite treatment, surgery may become an option. If this is the case, contact Laser Spine Institute for more information on minimally invasive, endoscopic procedures as alternatives to open spine surgery.