Spondylosis may also be referred to as spinal arthritis. It’s easily defined as a degeneration of the spine at any level – most commonly due to the effects of aging. Because every part of our spine is used every day, and in some situations overused, degeneration is more likely the older we get.

The vertebral discs that lay between each vertebrae and absorb shock and enhance stability are often the first parts of the spine to undergo the effects of degeneration. With age, the discs lose their rubbery, elastic like quality and begin to dry out. When discs are not working properly, more stress is placed on the facet joints between the vertebrae, as well as surrounding ligaments.

As the structures of the spine continually weaken and degenerate, the vertebrae become more mobile – which means they may begin to shift out of proper alignment. Without the support of discs or properly working facet joints, the bones may begin to rub one against each other – which may result in bone spurs.

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All this degeneration, shifting, and potential unwanted bone growth can begin to complicate how your nerves travel throughout your body. These nerves rely on openings in the spinal canal to properly reach the other areas of your body. As degeneration occurs, the spaces at which the nerves exit the spinal canal bay become restricted or too tight – painfully compressing them.

If Spondylosis begins at the top of your spine, called the Cervical section, you may begin to experience:

  • Neck, shoulder or arm pain
  • Partial or total loss of motor skills
  • Numbness or tingling in the neck, shoulders or arms
  • Weakness, especially in the upper body

To treat Spondylosis, especially in the earliest stages, many cases may be solved or eased with the use of anti inflammatory medication along with diagnostic and therapeutic spinal injections. Physical therapy may also be helpful, as could simple rest and relaxation. In severe cases, or if none of these or any other non-surgical procedures are successful, surgery may be required – but the best decision for you and your unique case will always be made.

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