Personalized treatments for people with back pain and spine disorders
Published: Sept. 29, 2010
Updated: Nov. 17, 2010
Spondylosis is also known as spinal arthritis.
The most common cause of spondylosis is degenerative changes due to the normal aging process. Spondylosis can affect any part of the spine -- neck, mid-back, and lower back.
Symptoms of spondylosis vary depending on where the affected area is located. Pain may occur in the neck, mid-back, or lower back. In some cases, the condition is asymptomatic. In severe cases there may be associated weakness, numbness, or pain.
Your doctor will perform a physical exam and discuss your general medical history as well as the history of your symptoms. A set of x-rays may be taken to investigate the affected area. A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computerized tomography (CT) scan can help your physician see the extent of involvement of the spine. Additional diagnostic tests, such as an electromyography (EMG), may be ordered if there is a concern for nerve irritation or damage.
Treatment of spondylosis is dependent on severity and location as well as associated symptoms. Possible treatments include exercises under the supervision of a physical therapist, medications such as anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce inflammation in the affected area, and epidural steroid or facet injections.
Surgery is recommended for patients who have not benefited from conservative treatments or when neurologic deficits result from the degenerative changes.