What is discogenic spondylosis?

The term discogenic spondylosis refers to a degenerative condition affecting the discs of the spine. Spondylosis is a general term for age-related conditions related to the wearing away of the spine. Discogenic means originating from or relating to the spinal discs.

The spine has two main roles — supporting the upper body and protecting the spinal cord. The joints and discs that link the vertebrae and cushion them allow the spine to bend and flex but also make the spine vulnerable to everyday wear and tear. Spondylosis includes a broad range of individual conditions, including spinal osteoarthritis and degenerative disc disease — which is another term for discogenic spondylosis.

Neural compression and discogenic spondylosis

Age-related discogenic spondylosis causes the spinal discs to dry out and lose their elasticity, leading to bulging and herniated discs. These conditions aren’t painful by themselves, but if any displaced disc material puts pressure on the spinal cord or an exiting nerve root, symptoms can result.

The pain of discogenic spondylosis

Discogenic spondylosis can occur in any region of the spine and symptoms will vary accordingly. While local discomfort and irritation are often experienced, radiating symptoms can also become present along the path of the compressed nerve. The locations of the symptoms are as follows:

  • Cervical spondylosis occurs in the neck; pain may spread into the shoulders, down the arms and into the hands. In rare cases, individuals may also experience dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing.
  • Thoracic spondylosis occurs in the middle back; the thoracic spine is relatively immobile due to its attachment to the rib cage, but “flexion” movements can trigger pain. “Flexion” involves any movement that decreases the angle of a joint, so for the spine, flexion involves bending forward, or bringing your chest toward your knees.
  • Lumbar spondylosis occurs in the lower back; especially common in the lumbar region because of how much weight this section of the spine supports, and also because the lower back is so flexible. Staying immobile for long periods of time has been known to increase the severity of lumbar discogenic pain.

Treating discogenic spondylosis

If you have attempted weeks or months of nonsurgical, conservative treatment and still find that the pain of spondylosis is negatively affecting your quality of life, it may be time to contact Laser Spine Institute. We perform minimally invasive spine surgeries that are an alternative to traditional procedures, offering a shorter recovery time^ with less risk of complication.

These minimally invasive procedures treat the source of discogenic pain on an outpatient basis. Contact us for your no-cost MRI review* to learn if you are a candidate for our minimally invasive surgical techniques.