Spondylosis pain is produced by nerve compression that develops because of an anatomical abnormality associated with a degenerative spine condition. Spinal nerve roots and the spinal cord itself are vulnerable when, for example, arthritis of the spine produces bone spurs, or degenerative disc disease leads to a herniated disc. When excess bone matter or seeping disc nucleus material comes into contact with a nerve or the spinal cord, the brain responds with signals that produce pain, tingling, numbness or muscle weakness.
Spondylosis pain also may occur when cartilage — which is normally present to help the spine experience smooth, pain-free motion — wears away with age. Once cartilage is gone, vertebrae are left to rub directly against one another, which causes stiffness and pain.
Areas affected by spondylosis pain
Spondylosis pain exists in two forms: localized and radiating. Localized pain occurs at the site of where joints are rubbing together or where nerve compression exists. The pain can range from mildly tender to excruciatingly sharp. Radiating pain travels along the length of a nerve in the direction of the innervated body part, which can produce a burning sensation. The areas of the body affected by radiating pain depend on the location of the compressed nerve:
- Cervical spondylosis – neck, shoulders, arms, hands, fingers
- Thoracic spondylosis – abdomen, upper back, middle back
- Lumbar spondylosis – lower back, buttocks, legs, feet, toes
- Multilevel spondylosis – nerve compression in more than one vertebral level can produce symptoms in all associated body parts
Managing spondylosis pain
Chronic pain and other symptoms associated with spondylosis normally can be managed using conservative treatment such as hot/cold therapy, physical therapy and pain medication. If debilitating pain persists after weeks or months of conservative treatment, spondylosis surgery might become an option. Rather than resorting to highly invasive, extremely disruptive traditional open spine surgery, tens of thousands of patients have found relief at Laser Spine Institute. Contact us to learn how one of our minimally invasive, outpatient procedures, which are performed using advanced techniques, can help you find relief from neck or back pain.