Spondylosis is a condition in which the space between the vertebrae that is occupied by the intervertebral discs becomes reduced in height and looses the normal hydration. This reduction in disc height often leads to the spinal nerve become impinged between the spinal vertebrae, causing pain and other related symptoms. In more progressive cases of Spondylosis, the intervertebral disc may wear away completely causing the vertebra above and below to sit directly on top of one another (i.e., bone on bone rubbing).
The centers of the intervertebral discs are made primarily of a water and protein mix called the nucleus pulposus. As we age these discs lose hydration and become weaker and thinner. If the discs deteriorate to the point where a nerve becomes trapped between the adjacent vertebrae, Spondylosis symptoms may occur.
Spondylosis is also common in those whose jobs require a repetitive motion of the spine such as bending or heavy lifting. The process can be accelerated by repetitive minor injuries to the spine as a result of overexertion or strain.
Spondylosis can occur in both the cervical or lumbar spine.
Spondylosis symptoms can include:
- Back or neck pain
- Pain that radiates into the extremities
- Numbness or tingling in the extremities
- Weakness of the extremities
- Bowel or bladder incontinence