Lumbar Spondylosis

Ravin Community Member April 10, 2008
  • Lumbar Spondylosis: Spondylosis, also known as spinal osteoarthritis, can affect the lumbar, thoracic, and/or the cervical regions of the spine. The intervertebral discs and facet joints are affected with this degenerative disorder. The biochemical changes that occur as an individual ages affects tissue throughout the body and may have a detrimental effect on the structure of the discs.

    Spondylosis (spinal osteoarthritis) is a degenerative disorder that may cause loss of normal spinal structure and function. Although aging is the primary cause, the location and rate of degeneration is individual. The degenerative process of spondylosis may affect the cervical (neck), thoracic (mid-back), or lumbar (low back) regions of the spine.

    Spondylosis often affects the following spinal elements:

    Intervertebral Discs As people age, certain biochemical changes occur affecting tissue found throughout the body. In the spine, the structure of the intervertebral discs (annulus fibrosus, lamellae, nucleus pulposus) may be compromised. The annulus fibrosus (eg, tire-like) is composed of 60 or more concentric bands of collagen fiber termed lamellae. The nucleus pulposus is a gel-like substance inside the intervertebral disc encased by the annulus fibrosus. Collagen fibers form the nucleus along with water and proteoglycans. The degenerative effects of aging can weaken the annulus fibrosus' structure, causing the 'tire tread' to wear or tear. The water content of the nucleus decreases with age affecting its ability to rebound following compression (e.g. shock absorbing quality). The structural alterations from degeneration may decrease disc height and increase the risk for disc herniation.

    Lumbar (Low Back) Spondylosis often affects the lumbar spine in people over the age of 40. Pain and morning stiffness are common complaints. Usually multiple levels are involved (eg, more than one vertebrae). The lumbar spine carries most of the body's weight. Therefore, when degenerative forces compromise its structural integrity, symptoms including pain may accompany activity. Movement stimulates pain fibers in the annulus fibrosus and facet joints. Sitting for prolonged periods of time may cause pain and other symptoms due to pressure on the lumbar vertebrae. Repetitive movements such as lifting and bending (eg, manual labor) may increase pain.

    Lumbar Spondylosis: Lumbar spondylosis is principally a disease of mid and later life. As the lumbar discs and associated ligaments undergo aging, the disc spaces frequently narrow. Thickening of the ligaments that surround the disc and those that surround the facet joints develops. These ligamentous thickening may eventually become calcified. Compromise of the spinal canal or of the openings through which the spinal nerves leave the spinal canal can occur.

    Causes of Lumbar Spondylosis: Spondylosis is caused by degenerative changes within the intervertebral discs. The soft, elastic material dries out and loses height. Thickening of the ligaments that surround the disc occurs. Alterations of the alignment of the joints that connect the back of the spine also occurs. These other ligaments undergo further degenerative changes, thickening and potential calcification.

  • Signs and Symptoms of Lumbar Spondylosis: Lumbar spondylosis reduces the ability of the involved segment to go through its normal range of motion. Back pain and back stiffness are common. Compression of the nerves within the spinal canal or the nerves exiting the spinal canal can lead to pain, numbness or weakness in the legs, buttock or bowel and bladder. Abnormalities of gait can occur. Occasionally, these degenerative changes can produce instability of the spine. Alterations in the alignment of the spinal segments, or spondylolisthesis, can lead to deformity of the spine and further pain and neurological symptoms.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

9 Comments
  • Anonymous
    Lawrence Appiah
    Feb. 23, 2014

    I am 46 hears and having thie pain and numbness my neck right parts of the leg and ankle. I went my physician and after an Xray it was found that I have a lumber spondylosis.  I have been exercising to keep fit but my fear is that can a vigorous

     exerciseo worsen my situation?  And what advise would you give me to improve the pain.

  • Chris
    Sep. 09, 2013

    Great article, we very much agree with the comments raised. This back pain can be so debilitating for our clients as well. You mention that this occurs generally from 40 years plus which is true. however from your actual experience what age do you see on average.

    Ours is higher on average more into late 50's but that said we have also see this in people in...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    Great article, we very much agree with the comments raised. This back pain can be so debilitating for our clients as well. You mention that this occurs generally from 40 years plus which is true. however from your actual experience what age do you see on average.

    Ours is higher on average more into late 50's but that said we have also see this in people in their 30's. Our article on spondylosis back pain support much of what you have said.

    • Ravin
      Oct. 07, 2013

      @ Chris, My Lumbar Spondylosis started in my 30's. I believe it can occur even in the 20's as well.

    • brownbear
      Nov. 01, 2013

      I have been recently diagnosed with Lumbar spondylosis, arthritis, and degenerative disc disease. This was during my time in the military and sadly, was only given muscle relaxers (that does nothing for the pain) and ibuprofen. No other treatment. Thats free health care for you, luckily im out now and can get my own health care for this constant pain. I have...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      I have been recently diagnosed with Lumbar spondylosis, arthritis, and degenerative disc disease. This was during my time in the military and sadly, was only given muscle relaxers (that does nothing for the pain) and ibuprofen. No other treatment. Thats free health care for you, luckily im out now and can get my own health care for this constant pain. I have all the symptoms that this article talks about, just multiplied. I'll update this post once I come back from a real doctor.

    • brownbear
      Nov. 01, 2013

      Forgot to mention I was 26 when I was diagnosed. Pain started when I was about 24-25 but always kind of ignored it so I didn't look "weak". Boy was that a mistake.

  • Sonu
    Feb. 24, 2013

    Dear sir/mam Iam working as a bank officer (27yrs). Since last 2 months lam suffering from neck and shoulder pain . Last 1week back I have consulted the problem with orthopedic doctor and have taken x-ray of my spinal cord after the consuting with him, he told that, it is the starting stage of cervical spondylosis . Can u pls advice me to recover the above...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    Dear sir/mam Iam working as a bank officer (27yrs). Since last 2 months lam suffering from neck and shoulder pain . Last 1week back I have consulted the problem with orthopedic doctor and have taken x-ray of my spinal cord after the consuting with him, he told that, it is the starting stage of cervical spondylosis . Can u pls advice me to recover the above decease in a early stage it self. Iam getting married soon so iam nervious about the same .kindly advice me...

    • Ravin
      Oct. 07, 2013

      Spondylosis is a term used for Arthritis. Your orthopedist can inform you on what type of arthritis you have & what treatments would best suite you. I get radio frequency ablasion done every 6-12 months & it helps, it burns the nerves that cause pain. Hope this helps you in some way. Congratulations on you marriage! Smile

  • Betty Boop Too
    Apr. 13, 2008

    Raven Star

    Thank you for both your shareposts here.  Your always giving us some great information and I learn something new every time you post.

    I hope your doing well and you continue to provide us with your very interesting & informative articles

    Great Post & Take Care'

    Betty

    • Chris lowe
      Feb. 19, 2012

      The two statements here have discribed what I have very well, better than I could of.

      I also find this has caused me to be unsteady and loose balance with out warning. Gerat post and thank you.