In Latin, the prefix “spondy” means “spine,” and the suffix “losis” means “problem.” In other words, spondylosis isn’t a diagnosis, but an indicator of spine trauma or degeneration that occurs with age.
If you experience symptoms of spondylosis and seek medical help, you’ll probably get a more specific diagnosis such as spinal stenosis, facet joint osteoarthritis, or degenerative disc disease.
Because spondylosis isn’t a diagnosis in itself, it can be difficult to pinpoint, as the signs and symptoms vary depending on the underlying cause.
To help you out, we asked pain management specialist Dr. Mahendra Gunapooti, a member of the team at Interventional Pain Management Services about the risk factors and symptoms of spondylosis. Read on to find out what they are and how we can help you at one of our three offices in St. Louis or Granite City, Illinois.
The most common risk factor for spondylosis is age. Research shows that more than 85% of people over 60 years of age experience at least one type of spondylosis. Other risk factors may include:
- Family history
Maintaining a healthy weight and a good posture helps reduce the pressure on your lower back, and may help protect you from developing spine issues.
Signs and symptoms of spondylosis
The symptoms and signs depend on where you’re experiencing the problem. The most common areas affected by spondylosis are the lower back and neck.
The neck poses a higher risk due to bad posture when reading or using computers. For example, tilting your head down instead of keeping the screen or book at eye level increases the strain on your neck.
The lower back can develop spondylosis because it supports your entire body weight.
Symptoms of spondylosis include the following:
If you suffer from spondylosis in the neck area, pain may radiate down to your shoulders, arms, and hands. If it impacts your lower back, you may experience pain radiating down to the buttocks, thighs, and feet.
How we diagnose and treat spondylosis
To identify the cause of your symptoms, our team at Interventional Pain Management Services may recommend imaging tests (MRI or X-ray) to get a better view of what’s causing the problem.
Depending on the cause and severity of your symptoms, we may recommend the following:
- Pain medications and muscle relaxants
- Physical therapy
- Epidural steroid injections
If you’re experiencing severe pain, nerve blocks can be used to numb the nerves causing pain in your spine. For long-term management, epidural steroid injections can alleviate pain for a few weeks at a time.
So if you’re showing symptoms, know there are several ways you can manage them. Contact us to schedule an appointment and find out how we can help you relieve pain and discomfort.