Spondylosis

Spondylosis

Spondylosis is a set of spinal problems caused by wear and tear of the intervertebral discs. Physical therapy, pain relievers, or surgery can relieve symptoms of wear and tear. Most people over the age of 65 have some form of spondylosis.

What is spondylosis?

Spondylosis is a general term for problems with the intervertebral discs in the spine, which usually develop with advancing age. For hepatic hemangioma overview, please visit homethodology.com.

When discs dehydrate and shrink, bone spurs and other signs of osteoarthritis develop. Spondylosis is very common and gets worse with age. A genetic component is also suspected to be to blame, as some families have more cases of spondylosis than others.

However, more than 90 percent of people over the age of 65 develop some degree of spondylosis, which shows up on x-rays. However, many people do not notice any serious symptoms of spondylosis. If they do occur, conservative treatment is usually successful.

Causes

In the course of life, the physics of the human spine changes due to various loads that can lead to spondylosis. The intervertebral discs serve as a kind of buffer between the vertebrae.

Shrinking and dehydration of the intervertebral discs begins in most people by the age of 40. This leads to increased bone contact and discomfort. Weakening spinal discs can also become damaged, often leading to nerve irritation.

The weakening of the intervertebral discs can also lead to a misguided reaction of the body, which results in increased bone growth. These bone spurs impede the normal movement of the spine. Ligaments between the vertebrae can also become stiffer with age and limit range of motion, which is also a common sign of spondylosis.

Symptoms, Ailments & Signs

Spondylosis can manifest itself through a whole range of symptoms and complaints. The disease manifests itself, among other things, in severe pain in the neck, spine, buttocks and legs. The complaints occur in individual areas or in the entire back area and sometimes radiate to the buttocks.

Accompanying this, tension can occur, which the patient usually finds extremely stressful. The pain is described by those affected as throbbing to stabbing. There is also an unpleasant tingling sensation. Symptoms appear with movement and decrease with rest. As the disease progresses, the pain gradually decreases.

However, in the long term, there may be limitations in the mobility of the spine. Those affected are then no longer able to tilt their upper body forwards or to the side. Movements such as bending or lifting are associated with severe pain. If the course is severe, there may be permanent mobility restrictions. In principle, however, spondylosis can be treated well, and chronic symptoms are rare. The disease is usually over within a few weeks to months.

Diagnosis & History

To diagnose spondylosis, doctors will usually begin with a physical exam. The focus here is on the mobility of the spine and whether certain movements cause pain or tension.

Muscle strength and reflexes are also tested here. This is usually followed by one or more imaging procedures. For example, simple x-rays of the neck can show whether displacements or bone spurs have developed that cause poor posture, pressure or pain. A computed tomography offers the possibility to image the spine from many different perspectives and also to show smaller defects.

Magnetic resonance imaging ( MRI ) can also show changes in the soft tissue of ligaments or help identify areas where nerves are being pressed. In a myelogram, a fluid is injected into the spine before the X-ray, which is more clearly visible on the images. But an electromyogram can also show the effects of a possible spondylosis more precisely. The latter test measures the activity of the nerves.

Complications

Spondylosis can promote hernias in the spine, among other things. A typical complication of the disease is also the so-called osteochondrosis. This disease is also due to disc wear and occurs more frequently in the context of spondylosis. Chronic neck and back pain can also occur.

Complaints in the area of ​​the lumbar spine and intervertebral discs cannot be ruled out either. Painful muscle tension and signs of paralysis can occur in the case of longer-lasting illnesses. This is accompanied by general restrictions in movement. Depending on which treatment method is chosen, undesirable events can occur. With drug therapy, a decrease in mental and physical performance is possible.

In addition, side effects and interactions as well as allergic reactions can occur. Injection with prednisone carries similar risks, but it can also lead to infection at the injection site and other problems. Undetected heart disease can cause cardiovascular problems and, in the worst case, even cardiac death. Surgery also carries risks.

Occasionally, nerve injuries occur, resulting in sensory disturbances and temporary symptoms of paralysis. Scars can form after the operation or there are unpleasant wound healing disorders.

When should you go to the doctor?

Since spondylosis does not heal on its own, the person affected with this disease should usually always consult a doctor. The sooner the doctor is consulted and the treatment is initiated, the better the further course is in most cases. Therefore, at the very first symptoms and signs of spondylosis, the patient should contact a medical professional. A doctor should be consulted if the person concerned suffers from severe pain in the neck or back. Severe limitations in movement can also indicate spondylosis and should also be examined by a doctor if they occur over a longer period of time.

Many sufferers also suffer from tingling in various parts of the body or from severe numbness. Tension or severe pain in the muscles can also indicate spondylosis and must also be examined by a doctor. The initial diagnosis can be made by an orthopedist or by a general practitioner. Further treatment usually requires treatment by a specialist.

Treatment & Therapy

Treatment for spondylosis depends on the signs and symptoms. The goals of treatment are to limit discomfort and pain, ensure normal activity, and prevent further damage to the spine.

If common painkillers no longer help, the doctor may prescribe muscle relaxants. These help if there are regular cramps in the back. In some cases, drugs that are otherwise used to treat epilepsy have also proven helpful. They act on the damaged nerves. Stronger narcotics may be necessary to manage more severe pain. An injection of prednisone into the affected areas has also proven to be a promising therapy.

Treatment for spondylosis can be done with a physical therapist. This teaches exercises that help those affected to strengthen weakened areas of the back and relieve others. This often leads to a reduction in symptoms. When all conventional treatments fail, the only option is surgery. This ensures that there is enough space for intervertebral discs and nerves.

Prevention

Spondylosis is a result of wear and tear. High strain on the back from repetitive physical activities over a long period of time can lead to premature spondylosis. Increased body weight is also a risk factor and leads to back problems more quickly. The same applies to permanent incorrect posture and lack of movement of the back muscles. Accordingly, attention should be paid to diet and health sports.

Aftercare

The treatment strategies for aftercare in patients with spondylosis are primarily aimed at the pain symptoms. The pain treatments can be done through the use of medication or through local anesthetic procedures. Alternative procedures in aftercare include acupuncture and psychological pain therapy and behavioral therapy.

In addition, the patient can contribute to their own pain relief by learning relaxation techniques. Examples include progressive muscle relaxation, autogenic training and yoga. As part of the aftercare, the doctor advises the patient and explains the prognosis, the coping strategies for everyday activities and encourages the patient in a targeted manner.

It is about the primary task, the balancing act between protecting the patient in phases of pain and activating and avoiding longer phases of protection. Sports therapy measures are not advisable in acute times for patients with spondylosis. On the other hand, light gymnastic exercises can help to reduce pain and counteract immobility.

Complex movement sequences are thus preserved and restored. In addition, physiotherapy and ergotherapy can be used in acute phases. Conservative treatments can therefore definitely succeed in relieving pain in the affected areas of movement of the patient.

You can do that yourself

In the case of spondylosis, rest and protection are the order of the day. The affected joints are painful and often swollen. This can lead to movement restrictions, which may also pose a health risk. Therefore, those affected should spend the first days and weeks after diagnosis in bed.

In order to avoid sore spots and other complaints, care should be taken to exercise gently. A daily walk or 15 minutes of physiotherapy help to relieve the symptoms. It can take a few days for the prescribed painkillers and anti-inflammatories to take full effect. Which measures are necessary in detail for spondylosis depends on the individual course of the disease. In the case of minor complaints, rest and rest are sufficient.

Since spondylosis is a degenerative disease, there are no long-term treatment options. Patients often need therapeutic support, for which a psychologist or a specialist therapist is responsible. If conservative treatment is no longer effective, surgery is required. After that, bed rest is important. The wound must be carefully cared for to avoid inflammation and infection. Depending on the symptoms, the doctor prescribes other medications.

Spondylosis