What is Spondylosis?
Spondylosis – or cervical spondylosis – is a specific term used for the natural wear and tear that occurs in your spinal discs (in your neck) as you age. This happens as part of aging, and it’s the situation where your spinal discs shrink and lose fluid, which can lead to an onset of osteoarthritis and ailments such as bone spurs.
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SymptomsSome people with spondylosis never suffer symptoms of the ailment. However, those who do suffer symptoms typically deal with pain and stiffness in the neck. Additional symptoms include: - Tingling, weakness, and numbness in your legs, feet, hands, and arms - Difficulty walking or coordination issues - Loss of bowel or bladder control
These more serious symptoms are caused when spondylosis narrows the space between the spinal discs and nerves get pinched.
If you suffer any of these symptoms, it is best to contact a medical professional.
Causes and Risk Factors
As mentioned, the older you are, the more likely you will suffer from spondylosis. It is a very common situation that occurs in more than 85% of people who are over age 60, but luckily, most people don’t suffer symptoms and those who do, have great success with nonsurgical treatments for pain.
A history of smoking, previous neck injuries, certain occupations that require overhead work or awkward positioning, and genetics can also increase your risk of spondylosis. Herniated disks and bone spurs can also occur with the onset of spondylosis.
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Treatment and Prevention
Your doctor will first take x-rays and scans to confirm exactly what they’re working with. They will likely also put you through a physical exam to check if your range of motion, reflexes, and muscle strength seems to be negatively impacted. Depending on what they find, they might proceed to additional tests, but if the spondylosis isn’t too severe, they might move straight to treatment.
Treatment depends on the symptoms you have and the severity of the symptoms. Specific treatments may include anything from over the counter pain relievers, heating or cooling pads, or corticosteroid injections to physical therapy, chiropractic, or even orthopedic spine surgery in more severe cases.
Spondylosis is a common issue for older people, but it doesn’t have to negatively affect your way of life. If you are suffering from spondylosis and you want to see what options are available to you, you should reach out and call us!
We have an elite team of orthopedic specialists who are available in both Hoboken and Jersey City. Don’t wait; call us today to get started.
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