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At Key Clinics, Dr. Joel D. Siegal treats a broad range of conditions involving the spine, including spondylosis. By visiting our clinic, you will be able to determine if you have spondylosis and receive the best and most compassionate care and spine treatment available.
What Is Spondylosis?
Spondylosis is a general medical term that describes spine degeneration and arthritis related to the aging process.
Symptoms of Spondylosis
Virtually everyone develops spondylosis of the spine as they get older, however not everyone experiences pain symptoms as a result of spondylosis. Some people have minor pain symptoms or none at all. Others can develop significant pain and stiffness. By visiting Dr. Joel D. Siegal at Key Clinics, he can help develop a treatment plan to assess and lessen your discomfort.
When arthritic or spondylotic “spurs” cause compression of a nerve, the pain can be unbearable. As an example, with a compressed nerve root in the neck, the symptoms can include pain extending from the neck into the shoulders, arms, hands and fingers. If this condition involves compression of a nerve root in the back, people may develop “sciatica” or pain radiating from the lumbar region to the buttocks, legs, feet, and toes.
Sometimes patients also can feel a loss of sensation (numbness), tingling and muscle weakness in the arms or legs. The symptoms of spondylosis can fluctuate throughout the day.
Causes and Risk Factors of Spondylosis
Spondylosis develops and progresses with aging. There are also several risk factors that can contribute to this condition: genetics, traumatic injury, obesity and the previous participation in high-impact sports such as football, hockey, car racing, gymnastics and so on.
Spondylosis occurs when soft tissues in the spine, including tendons, ligaments, cartilage, muscles, and discs wear down with age or injury:
- Ligaments and tendons – Begin to stiffen, thicken, and tighten.
- Cartilage – Deteriorates in the bony facet joints of the spine. The bones rub directly against each other creating friction, inflammation and the growth of bone spurs.
- Muscles – Spine stabilizing muscles in the neck and back weaken.
- Discs - Water hydrates young discs within the spinal column, allowing for great shock absorption and easy mobility. As discs age, they become less hydrated, shorter, inflamed and stiff.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Spondylosis
Spondylosis can affect multiple areas of the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine. When you see Dr. Siegal at Key Clinics, he may order a series of diagnostic tests such as X-ray, MRI, CT, bone scan and DEXA bone density scan. With these results, he can determine if the wear and tear of aging on your spine is causing your pain. Then he can make the appropriate recommendations for treatment.
Conservative, non-operative treatments are always explored first. If non-invasive treatments are ineffective, a surgical intervention may be available to help you function better, significantly reduce your pain and improve your quality of life.