5 Common Signs of Spondylosis

5 Common Signs of Spondylosis

Spondylosis may seem like a complicated word, but it’s the term for osteoarthritis in the spine. This is one of the most prevalent forms of arthritis that becomes increasingly common with age. But just because it’s common doesn’t mean it’s easy to spot or to live with.

More than 80% of people over age 40 have signs of spondylosis when X-rayed, but that doesn’t always mean they have symptoms. When problems arise, however, they often cause five common issues.

Dr. Arien Smith specializes in diagnosing and treating conditions known to cause back pain and neck pain — leading causes of missed work and reduced quality of life. Here are five signs of spondylosis that bring people to his practice at Brain and Spine Institute of New York and New Jersey.

1. Pain

Spondylosis can affect any joint in the spine but is most common in the neck and low back. When it occurs, it can be mild or disabling. However, unlike other pain conditions, spondylosis often causes nerve pain because of pinched or constricted spinal nerves.

Spondylosis pain often radiates along the affected nerve. For example, spondylosis in the neck can cause radiating pain in the shoulder, arm, and hand, while issues in the low back often cause sciatica symptoms that involve the buttock and leg.

It’s also common for spondylosis pain to worsen from repetitive movements like bending and lifting.

2. Abnormal sensations 

Pain isn’t the only thing you can experience with spondylosis. It can also trigger a variety of abnormal feelings along the nerve, from numbness and weakness to tingling, stabbing, and burning sensations.

As spondylosis progresses, you can develop complications with the affected spinal nerve, like loss of sensation to vibration, pinpricks, temperature, or pain.

3. Stiffness and reduced range of motion

Like other forms of osteoarthritis, spondylosis can cause significant stiffness in the spine. That’s because it affects the facet joints connecting the vertebrae — the tiny joints that provide flexibility in your spinal column that enable it to turn and bend.

If you find yourself with stiffness or pain in your spine after long periods of sitting or rest, it could be due to spondylosis.

4. Crepitus

One sign of spondylosis that’s difficult to ignore is crepitus. This symptom describes a sound or feeling of crunching in your spine, especially with reduced range of motion.

It’s possible for people with spondylosis to experience crepitus even without other signs of the condition present.

5. Loss of function

Spondylosis can affect bodily functions because it can damage certain nerve roots or the spinal cord. Types of loss of function linked to spondylosis include:

Spondylosis can also increase your risk of compression fractures at every stage of the disease, leading to weakness, pain, or paralysis in different parts of your body.

Getting help for spondylosis

It’s essential to seek expert care if you detect any signs of spondylosis. There’s no cure for this condition, but Dr. Smith can offer treatment options that relieve your symptoms and stop the progression of the disease, making early detection crucial.

Common treatments for spondylosis include:

If you don’t respond to conservative treatments, Dr. Smith could suggest surgical solutions to correct irregularities in the spine.

Do you have spondylosis symptoms? Contact Brain and Spine Institute of New York and New Jersey to schedule a consultation today.

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