Spondylosis — causes and symptoms of spondylosis

Educate yourself on the main spondylosis causes with this useful resource from Laser Spine Institute.

Spondylosis is a medical term used to describe the natural degradation of the spine. Because of the broad nature of spondylosis, there are several possible causes for this spine condition, ranging from the natural aging process to other spine conditions.

If you suspect you have spondylosis, schedule an appointment with your physician. Your physician can order an MRI test or CT scan to determine the cause and severity of your condition. Since there are so many possible causes of spondylosis, it is important that your physician has a recent and accurate scan of your spine to properly diagnose your condition and recommend treatment.

Causes of spondylosis

Spondylosis describes the gradual deterioration of the spine over time. The most common occurrence of spondylosis is found in the lumbar (lower back) portion of the spine. The lumbar spine is responsible for supporting and stabilizing most of the body’s weight. As the body increases in weight and has years of bending and twisting, the components of the lumbar spine, such as the vertebrae, discs and joints, slowly start to wear. This is spondylosis.

When the components of the spine begin to wear down, other spine conditions may occur. Common conditions associated with spondylosis include:

In some cases, spondylosis is a result of another spine condition, such as arthritis of the spine, causing the vertebrae or joints of the spine to deteriorate. Your physician can accurately determine the cause of your spondylosis by reviewing your MRI or CT scan.

Symptoms of spondylosis

Most mild cases of spondylosis do not have any symptoms. In fact, most people over the age of 70 have spondylosis without any knowledge of it. Because the most common cause of spondylosis is the natural aging process, most people never experience a symptom besides minor and infrequent aches and pains.

However, more progressive cases of spondylosis may result in back stiffness and pain. Some patients may experience pain when bending or twisting, or radiating pain down the buttock and leg. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, contact your physician to discuss conservative and surgical treatment options available to you.