Causes and diagnosis of spondylosis

Spondylosis is a spine condition that describes the deterioration of the spine. Spondylosis has many facets and causes, ranging from the natural deterioration process of the spine to other spine conditions, such as bone spurs or spinal stenosis. Most patients with mild spondylosis do not suffer from any symptoms. In fact, most people over the age of 70 have very mild cases of spondylosis.

However, if spondylosis progresses or is accompanied by another spine condition, symptoms such as chronic pain associated with nerve compression as well as limited mobility may occur. To learn about the causes of these spondylosis symptoms as well as the diagnostic process for this condition, read the following article.

Causes of spondylosis

Most cases of spondylosis are caused by the natural deterioration of the spine over time. For this reason, most cases of spondylosis occur in the lower back. The spine is comprised of three main sections — cervical (neck), thoracic (middle back) and lumbar (lower back). The lumbar portion of the spine is largely responsible for carrying the body’s weight and providing stability.

As time goes on and weight gain occurs, the components of the lumbar spine, such as the vertebrae and discs, become compressed. The continual compression of the spine may cause the components to slowly degrade and develop problems, such as bone spurs, deteriorated discs and several other spine conditions.

Spondylosis is a broad term that describes the general wear of the spine, but there are several spine conditions that occur either as a result of or in conjunction with spondylosis. The main conditions that are associated with spondylosis include:

  • Bone spurs
  • Herniated discs
  • Arthritis of the spine
  • Traumatic injury
  • Spinal stenosis

The most common cause of spondylosis is natural age and the compression of the spine over time.

Diagnosing spondylosis

Most mild cases of spondylosis do not show symptoms. If you suspect you have spondylosis, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor to discuss your symptoms and concerns. He or she will likely order an MRI test or CT scan to view parts of your spine and determine whether or not you have spondylosis.

An MRI test or CT scan will also help your doctor determine the cause of your spondylosis, which will help you decide if treatment is necessary. In many cases, spondylosis can be treated with conservative treatment methods, such as a weight management, pain medication, physical therapy, low-impact exercises and chiropractic care. Your doctor can help you create a treatment regimen that will best meet your needs.

If you are not responding to several weeks or months of conservative treatment methods, contact Laser Spine Institute. We offer a safer and effective alternative to traditional open back surgery^ in the form of our minimally invasive procedures. Each year, we have helped thousands of patients find lasting relief from chronic neck and back pain, setting us apart as the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery.

Our minimally invasive stabilization surgery and minimally invasive decompression surgery are both designed to help treat spondylosis, while still providing a shorter recovery time and lower risk of complication compared to traditional open back surgery.^ To find out if you are a potential candidate for our outpatient spondylosis procedures, reach out to our dedicated team today and ask for a free MRI review.*