Spondylosis is a medical term which describes any kind of degeneration of the spine. It doesn’t relate to a specific condition, and can be caused by a number of things, including old age, osteoarthritis or injury.
As spondylosis becomes more advanced, it causes the vertebrae to narrow, putting pressure on the spinal cord (an extension of your brain) which is housed inside this bony structure.
Friction between the vertebrae (due to aging or injury) causes the development of bony spurs, which put further pressure on the spinal column and the nerves it contains.
Most people with spondylosis experience mild symptoms, like pain and stiffness in the neck.
Pressure on nerves inside your spinal column can cause tingling and numbness in other areas of the body, like your hands. The location of these sensations will depend on where the degeneration has occurred along your spine.
Spondylosis can also cause dizziness and feeling unbalanced or wobbly.
In some more serious cases, people may experience difficulty with coordination or walking as well as slower reflexes and bladder or bowel incontinence.
The most common cause for spondylosis is age. Throughout life, our spines experience a great deal of wear and tear and as we age, our spinal discs go through the natural process of dehydration, which causes more friction between the vertebrae and increases your risk of spondylosis.
Genetics may also play a factor, as can lifestyle choices like smoking, as this can weaken your bones and damage your spinal tissue.
Neck injuries and repetitive overhead work may also cause spondylosis, due to the pressure it puts on your neck.
If these symptoms sound familiar, our osteopaths can confirm a diagnosis.
During your initial assessment, our osteopaths or chiropractors will assess your spine to determine whether further medical investigation or imaging by a doctor is needed to rule out other conditions.