Spondylosis is a disease that affects the spine. Also known as osteoarthritis of the spine, this disease can cause pain, limited mobility and other symptoms.
Spondylosis is caused by wear off from the intervertebral discs. Over time, the discs become dehydrated and stiffer. This can be caused mainly by age, genetic factors, or activities that injure the spine. People with certain diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, may also be more prone to developing spondylosis.
The main symptom of spondylosis is back pain. This pain can be acute or chronic and can get worse by physical activity. In addition to pain, spondylosis can also cause a stiff spine. Some people may experience tingling or numbness in the arms or legs due to nerve compression.
The diagnosis of spondylosis is carried out by the spine specialist. First, a physical evaluation is carried out where Dr. López Serna will ask questions to know your medical history. If necessary, imaging studies such as an x-ray will be used to locate the wear of the intervertebral discs. In some cases, other tests, such as CT scans or MRIs, are requested to obtain more detailed images of the spine.
The treatment of spondylosis is comprehensive and the patient will need to make changes in their lifestyle, such as go to physiotherapy, use medications and in severe cases spinal surgery will be indicated.
In many cases, especially those that are treated promptly, lifestyle changes relieve pressure on the spine and reduce spondylosis symptoms. These changes are usually relatively simple; regular exercise, proper posture when sitting or walking, losing weight, and avoiding heavy lifting. However, a little improvement usually makes the patient think the healing is done and then it comes back worse, that is why is very important to have supervision of your evolution by the specialist.
Physical therapy can help reduce spondylosis pain and improve mobility. Physical therapists can design a specific exercise program for each patient, perform massage, and apply heat or cold to reduce pain. Also, it is important to perform physical therapy once you have the diagnosis, otherwise the exercise may increase the injury. If pain persists, medications may include pain relievers, anti-inflammatories, and muscle relaxants.
In severe cases, spinal surgery will be the last option. The procedure will focus on repairing damaged intervertebral discs and, if necessary, replacing them with artificial implants. It may also include the fusion of two or more adjacent vertebrae to stabilize the spine. There are numerous techniques to perform intervertebral fusion and technology is advancing rapidly in the development of better prostheses and surgical techniques, so it is important to go to a highly specialized spine specialist who is constantly updated.
Spondylosis is a common disease that affects the spine. Its symptoms can be painful and limiting, but there are effective treatments that can alleviate them and improve the patient’s quality of life. It is important to detect and treat this disease early to avoid serious complications.