What is lumbar spondylosis?

What are the symptoms of lumbar spondylosis?

There are often no symptoms. When there are symptoms, back pain and stiffness are the main ones. They are usually worse in the morning and get better throughout the day.

If bony growths are pushing against a nerve root or the spinal cord, you may have numbness, tingling, weakness, or an aching, shooting pain in your buttock and leg.

How is lumbar spondylosis treated?

Pain and stiffness are first treated with ice or heat and with over-the-counter medicines. Physical therapy and daily exercises can be helpful.

If these treatments aren't helping you enough, you may need other treatments. This might be more likely to happen if you have spine problems such as a herniated disc or spinal stenosis. In some cases, a shot of medicine in the joint area may offer short-term relief. For a severe problem, surgery may be an option.

How is lumbar spondylosis diagnosed?

Lumbar spondylosis can usually be diagnosed based on your history of symptoms, a physical exam, and imaging tests. These are tests that produce various kinds of pictures of your body. Such tests include:

  • X-rays. They can help measure the extent of arthritis or injuries to the bones.
  • MRI. This test checks your spinal nerves and looks for disc problems.
  • CT scan. This test checks your spinal canal, bones, and joints.

How can you care for yourself when you have lumbar spondylosis?

To manage pain, try using ice or heat on the affected area. Ask your doctor about taking an over-the-counter pain medicine. Follow all instructions on the label. Try to be active each day. Walking may be a good choice. And try exercises to help your stomach, back, and leg muscles stay strong.

Osteoarthritis of the Spine

Normal spine and osteoarthritis of the spine

Osteoarthritis is a condition in which the cartilage that protects and cushions the joints breaks down over time. Eventually, the bones-formerly separated by the cartilage-rub against each other. This results in damage to the tissue and bone and causes painful joint symptoms.

Osteoarthritis is common in the joints of the spine, including the small facet joints and the large joints between the vertebrae.

The lower picture also shows flattened discs. This is a common part of aging in which the discs that cushion the bones of the spine lose fluid and can develop tiny cracks. When discs flatten, there is less space between the bones. This can make osteoarthritis worse and can also pinch the nerves that are near the spine.

What is lumbar spondylosis?

Spondylosis is age-related change of the bones (vertebrae) and discs of the spine. These changes are often called degenerative disc disease and osteoarthritis. When this condition is in the lower back, it's called lumbar spondylosis.

These changes don't always cause symptoms. But they are a common cause of spine problems that can range from mild to severe.

What causes lumbar spondylosis?

As your body ages, the discs between the bones of the spine become stiffer and can break down. The bones also wear down and can grow bone spurs.

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