Spondylosis is a degenerative disease of the spine, characterized by proliferation of bone tissue along the edges of the spines. Some doctors call spondylosis the second stage of osteochondrosis, in which the fibrous fibers of the intervertebral dick begin to extend beyond the vertebral bodies, resulting in bone protrusions. With the development of the disease, the mobility of the disk is limited. Spondylosis can develop in any part of the spine: in the cervical, thoracic or lumbar spine. Breast spondylosis usually does not manifest itself in any way and the disease can go unnoticed for a long time.
Causes and risk factors for spondylosis
Bones and ligaments in the human spine gradually wear out and bone spurs can form in humans. The redness of the intervertebral disc and its bulge can also lead to degeneration and weakening of the intervertebral disc.
Spondylosis can first manifest itself at the age of 20 to 50 years. After 40 years, more than 80% of people have the main symptoms of spondylosis. The rate of development of spondylosis depends on the trauma and genetic predisposition to diseases of the spine.
The clinical picture and symptoms of spondylosis
In approximately 30-40% of patients with lumbar spondylosis, the disease does not manifest itself. In other people, spondylosis can cause back and neck pain. Pain occurs due to pinching of the nerve. A compressed nerve causes a protrusion of the disc and the appearance of bone spurs on the joints, causing a narrowing of the hole that allows nerve roots to pass through the spinal canal. Even when the compression is not so large as to directly clamp the nerve, the convex discs cause inflammation and irritation of the nerves in the spine. If the intervertebral hernia infringes on the ligaments of the spine, the person experiences severe pain. Against the background of pressure, new cells and blood vessels grow, which subsequently leads to a symptom of chronic pain.
Symptoms of spondylosis are usually localized pain in the back and neck. When the nerve is pinched, the pain can pass to the limbs. For example, in the lumbar spine, large intervertebral discs lead to compression of the nerve and cause pain that begins in the lower back with localization in the leg. This is called lumbosacral radiculitis.
Back pain can increase significantly if the patient is standing, sitting, or bending in front for a long time, and is relieved when changing position or while walking. When a nerve is pinched, a person may experience tingling or numbness. With a strong clamping of the nerve, the weakening of the affected limb occurs.
Diagnosis and treatment of spondylosis
Diagnosis of the disease is carried out using radiological tests: X-ray, MRI or CT. An x-ray usually shows bone spurs, a thickening of the joints connecting the spines and a narrowing of the intervertebral space of the disc .. CT scan shows in more detail all the changes and can diagnose narrowing of the spinal canal if any. But the most detailed information about the spine is given by MRI. This procedure can also be used to visualize the spine, joints, nerve endings and ligaments of the spine, and can also accurately diagnose the presence of nerve impairment.
Since spondylosis is a degenerative process, it is impossible to prevent its development and completely cure the patient. The main therapy is aimed at removing the inflammatory process, eliminating pain, improving blood supply to blood vessels and slowing down the development of the disease. The treatment is usually complex, consisting of taking special medications, physical exercises, physiotherapy and adjuvant therapy, such as acupuncture or chiropractic.