The likelihood of multilevel spondylosis becomes increasingly common later in life. Spondylosis is the word used to describe the presence of spinal degeneration as a potential source of back or neck pain. When multilevel spondylosis is present, it means degeneration is shown between multiple vertebrae along the spine. The term “multilevel” could refer to multiple levels of one spinal area, such as multiple vertebrae in the cervical (upper) spine, or it could refer to spondylosis among several areas of the spine, such as multiple vertebrae in the cervical (upper) and lumbar (lower) spine.
In most cases, spondylosis is caused by nothing more than regular wear and tear and isn’t necessarily symptomatic. Spinal degeneration usually only becomes painful when it is accompanied by worn down joins and/or nerve compression in the spinal column, which can be caused by herniated discs, bone spurs, spinal stenosis, and other conditions.
The symptoms of multilevel spondylosis depend on the extent and location of the spinal degeneration. For example, nerve compression in the lumbar spine (lower back) may lead to symptoms in the lower back, buttocks, pelvis, thighs, legs, feet, and toes. Some of the most common symptoms caused by joint deterioration and nerve compression include:
- Dull pain and stiffness
- Chronic pain experienced at the site of the nerve compression
- Pain that travels along the compressed nerve
- Muscle weakness or stiffness
- Numbness or tingling in the extremities
- A pins-and-needles sensation
Treatment of multilevel spondylosis is contingent on identifying the source of nerve compression. In most cases, the symptoms of spine degeneration can be managed effectively with conservative (nonsurgical) treatment, such as pain medication, hot/cold therapy, massage, and physical therapy. However, severe multilevel spondylosis may require surgical attention if symptoms persist through several weeks of conservative treatment.
If you have exhausted your nonsurgical options and you are considering an invasive open spine operation, contact Laser Spine Institute to learn about the benefits of our revolutionary minimally invasive endoscopic procedures. Unlike open spine surgery, which requires hospitalization and lengthy recovery, a gentle outpatient procedure from Laser Spine Institute is quick, effective and requires minimal rehabilitation.