The term mild spondylosis describes the early stages of spinal degeneration in an individual and can account for the presence of back or neck pain. Spondylosis isn’t a condition itself, but rather is used to describe the presence of degenerative conditions that may cause back or neck pain. These degenerative conditions occur naturally as an individual ages and may require treatment if they result in nerve compression. Most cases of spondylosis are mild and can be managed with conservative, nonsurgical treatment, but if degeneration is severe, surgical adjustment may be warranted.
The Aging Process
Over the years, the regular wear and tear on the spine takes its toll and the spinal anatomy begins to deteriorate. This is part of the natural aging process and accounts for aches and pains and loss of flexibility in the spine. This is normal and largely unavoidable. Mild spondylosis isn’t a condition as much as it is a descriptive term used by doctors to describe this degeneration in the spine. C5-C6 spondylosis, for example, describes the presence of degenerative conditions at the fifth and sixth vertebrae in the cervical spine.
However, mild spondylosis isn’t considered a diagnosis because it doesn’t specify the source of an individual’s symptoms. Some examples of specific types of spinal degeneration include:
- Degenerative disc disease – the weakening, tearing, or bulging of the intervertebral discs that normally cushion the spine
- Facet disease – a type of osteoarthritis that entails cartilage deterioration, pain, and stiffness in the joints that connect adjacent vertebrae
- Osteophytes – the development of bone spurs in the spinal column
- Spinal stenosis – the gradual narrowing of the spinal canal or a foramen in the spinal column
Treatment of mild spondylosis is contingent on the specific source of back or neck pain. Mild spondylosis usually doesn’t require anything more than conservative treatments, such as physical therapy or pain medication. If you experience severe spondylosis and are considering spine surgery, contact Laser Spine Institute to learn how one of our minimally invasive endoscopic techniques can help you rediscover your life without back or neck pain.