Spondylosis is arthritis of the spine. It's a normal—and extremely common—part of aging.
Fortunately, many people with spinal arthritis never know it. While it can be seen on x-rays if it develops, it frequently doesn't produce symptoms.
However, in some cases, spinal arthritis can also be so painful it's disabling.
If spondylosis is disrupting your life, the spine specialists at Twin Cities Spine Center have the expertise to help you develop a treatment plan that will work best for you.
Osteoarthritis of the spine
Spondylosis typically involves osteoarthritis, the common, wear-and-tear kind of arthritis. As we age, the cartilage that cushions the facet joints—the joints in the spine where vertebrae join—breaks down.
Over time, osteoarthritis can also cause bony outgrowths called bone spurs to form on these joints. These bone spurs can press on nerves, causing pain. They can also narrow the spaces where nerves and the spinal cord need to pass through.
Depending on what part of your spine is affected, spondylosis can cause different symptoms.
Cervical spondylosis—or arthritis in the neck—can cause:
- Neck stiffness and pain.
- Muscle spasms in your neck and shoulders.
- A grinding or popping noise when you turn your neck.
Lumbar spondylosis—or arthritis in the lower back—can cause:
- Back stiffness and pain.
- Grinding or popping noises in your lower back.
- Muscle spasms in the lower back area.
- Difficulty walking due to back pain.
Rarely, spondylosis can trigger bowel and bladder incontinence. This can be an urgent situation and you should contact your medical provider immediately.
All of our spine specialists take a conservative approach to treating spondylosis.
This means if you turn to us for care, your personalized treatment plan will very likely begin with nonsurgical options, such as physical therapy, chiropractic care and steroid-based injections. These can be very effective.
If nonsurgical treatments aren't effective, our team has the surgical expertise to discuss with you if any surgical intervention might be effective for your specific problem.
Whatever spondylosis treatment you receive, you will be in highly experienced hands. Our specialists will help you understand your condition and help you choose a course of action that is best for you, your lifestyle and your goals.