Five signs that you should talk with a physician about spondylosis
Spondylosis can refer to several types of spinal degeneration. This term is commonly used by physicians when discussing spinal osteoarthritis, but it can also be used to describe degenerative disc disease, facet syndrome, bone spurs and other neck and back conditions.
Spondylosis warning signs
Because spinal degeneration is so wide-ranging, it’s always best to have a medical professional perform a clinical exam and order one or more imaging scans, if needed, to provide an accurate diagnosis. It may be time to talk with your physician about spondylosis if you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms:
- Neck or back pain that persists for days on end
- Pain that travels down an arm or leg
- Tingling (pins-and-needles sensations) in your upper or lower extremities
- Muscle weakness
- Stiff joints in your neck or back
Depending on the location of the degeneration in your spine, symptoms may develop in one or more locations. For instance, in the case of lumbar spondylosis, the symptoms are typically felt in the lower back. With cervical spondylosis, the symptoms are more concentrated in the neck and shoulders. It’s also possible for degeneration to occur in multiple places (multilevel spondylosis), leading to pain and stiffness in several areas of the spine.
Ways to alleviate your symptoms
Spondylosis symptoms can range from mild and inconvenient to severe and debilitating. For milder symptoms, over-the-counter medications and hot/cold packs may be all that’s needed to achieve relief. For more complicated symptoms, options such as physical therapy, prescription pain relievers, muscle relaxants or spinal injections may be recommended as well.
For some individuals, surgery might also be a consideration. However, operations are usually only recommended as a last resort if nonsurgical treatments do not produce the desired results. Traditional neck or back surgery can involve large incisions and a long recovery time, but there may be an alternative.
At Laser Spine Institute, we perform minimally invasive surgical procedures that are often the clinically appropriate first choice versus traditional open spine procedures.^ To find out if you are a candidate for minimally invasive spondylosis surgery at Laser Spine Institute, contact us today.