Spondilosis or Osteoarthritis of Spine

Overview:

Osteoarthritis often affects the spine of the body. It may be cervical spine or lumbar spine. Spinal osteoarthritis is often known as Spondylosis. Spondilosis is a degenerative disorder of the spine. It reduces the normal spinal functioning. It induces changes to disc, bones and joints of the neck. The primary cause of spondylosis is the aging process. With age, the wear and tear of the joints progresses. Also the spinal discs breaks down and loses its fluid. This makes the disc appear stiffer. Generally, middle-aged and elderly people are affected by spondylosis.

Causes:

Spondilosis-or-Osteoarthritis-of-Spine The chronic or long term degeneration of the cervical spine results in spondylosis. It may be caused due to:

  • Heavy weight lifting
  • Professional gymnasium or dancing
  • Practice of martial arts for long years
  • Smoking

Symptoms:

Generally, the common symptom of spondylosis involve stiffness in the spine. The other symptoms include:

  • Neck pain and stiffness
  • Headache
  • Dysphagia
  • Blackouts and dizziness.

Treatments:

Conservative treatment procedures are usually used for spondylosis. The steps included are:

  • Rest

A proper rest to the affected parts helps to reduce the pain. However, long hours of rest are not advised. It may worsen the condition and make the body weak.

  • Medications

The proper medications as prescribed by the doctor helps in relieving pain. These medications may be nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory or narcotic medicines(NSAIDs), ointments, creams, etc. Injections are also beneficial.

  • Cervical Collar

It is usually advised to wear cervical collars. They provide support and helps to limit the movement of affected part.

  • Chiropractic Manipulation

? In case of severe pain, the chiropractic manipulation helps to control pain and provide relief to the person.

  • Physiotherapy

The physiotherapy methods include heat therapy, cold therapy, and stable exercises. These help in proper movement of affected part of the body.

Surgery:

If the body does not respond correctly to non-surgical methods, then surgery is needed. Prior to surgery, MRI scan or x-ray is done to determine pressure on the spinal cord. The surgery aims to remove the source of pressure. The spine may be approached from front or back side. Front side is used in cases where removal of spurs and discs is needed which create pressure on the spine. Implants are used to replace the damaged disc. In some people, either laminectomy or laminoplasty is required. In such cases, the back side is approached. Laminectomy aims to remove the rear parts of neck vertebrae- spinous and lamina processes. In laminoplasty, the vertebrae is cut along one side. Both these methods help to reduce pain. After surgery, a rehabilitation program is often done.

Risks:

The complications or risks in spondylosis include:

  • Enlarged ligaments or bones.
  • Irregular posture
  • Reaction to anesthesia
  • Infection

 

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