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Spondylosis is a general disorder caused as age-related wear and tear affecting the spinal discs. Signs of osteoarthritis develop when the discs dehydrate and shrink, including bony projections along the edges of bones (bone spurs).

Spondylosis is very common that worsens with age. 85 percent of older age 60 people are affected by spondylosis.

In most cases, the term spondylosis refers to osteoarthritis that affects the spine. It is also a term that can describe other conditions related to spinal degeneration. Most people won’t experience symptoms from spondylosis problem. But, when we see the signs, nonsurgical treatments are useful to treat. This has to differentiate from spondylitis where there is inflammation of the bone or disc secondary to an autoimmune process like Rheumatoid Arthritis or infection.

In this blog, Dr. Surya Prakash Rao Voleti Spine Surgeon provides the details about:

  • Spondylosis
  • Causes
  • Symptoms
  • Treatment Options available to treat spondylosis

What is Spondylosis?

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Spondylosis or cervical spondylosis is the common name for degenerative arthritis that causes changes in the spine or neck. This is a relatively common age-related condition that is known to affect the intervertebral discs and joints in the cervical spine, the neck region of the body. Usually, conditions associated with cervical spondylosis arise from regular wear and tear of bones and cartilage in the neck. While cervical spondylosis is mainly related to age, it can also cause by other additional factors.

In the case of spinal spondylosis, some people may experience dizziness, stiffness, chronic, and severe neck pain. In some cases, people with cervical spondylosis also report that they carry out normal daily activities with minimal or no symptoms. Indeed, more than 90% of adults over the age of 65 years, with neck x-rays show signs of arthritis. These degenerative changes occur most often in the vertebral body and openings for nerve roots.

Types of Spondylosis:

There are three main types of spondylosis:

    • Cervical spondylosis: Which attacks the cervical spine and spreads pain to the back of the neck

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    • Lumbar Spondylosis: Which strikes the lumbar region and feel the pain in the lumbar region

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Ankylosing spondylitis: A disease that mainly attacks the sacroiliac joints, causing stiffness in the lower back, thighs, knees, and chest.

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How Does Spondylosis Occur?

We usually think of arthritis as age-related diseases; this change can occur at any age. As the body ages, It accumulates the cumulative changes which present to the doctor as Heavy spondylosis work, high-stress sports, previous neck, or back injuries can cause pain and predispose to accelerated arthritis. Arthritis seems to have a strong genetic component, and we know that smoking quickly speeds up the degenerative process in the spine.

Protective cartilage and bone located in the neck are very vulnerable to wear and tear in everyday life that causes a condition called spondylosis. Some possible causes of spondylosis are:

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Bone Spurs: Bone growth in the neck or spine may be caused by the body trying to provide additional bone growth to strengthen the spine. However, new extra bone growth can put some times pressure on sensitive areas of the spine, including the spinal cord, nerves, and surrounding muscles which cause pain and discomfort.

Herniated Discs: This is due to the formation of cracks on the disc. Through these gaps, the inner material leakage which requires for cushioning is released out. These materials, which sometimes can include certain chemicals can irritate the nerves and spinal cord, causing symptoms of spondylosis. This includes pain that reaches can the arms and causes numbness..

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Dehydrated Spinal Discs: Bones in the spine contain discs between them. These discs are thick, padding that helps in absorbing the shock of lifting weights and other regular days to day activities. The gel material between the spinal intervertebral discs can dry out over time. This will cause the vertebrae to rub against each other, sometimes causing extreme pain. This process usually begins at the age of 40 years.

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Injury: If you injure your neck by accident or fall, it can accelerate the aging process of your spinal cord, which can cause spondylosis.

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Who Tends to experience spondylosis?

Spondylosis is more common in people over the age of 60, and they are 85 percent more likely to develop cervical spondylosis than young people. Besides the age of the main factors, other factors such as accidents or injuries can contribute to the symptoms of cervical spondylosis.

Symptoms of Spondylosis?

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Many people with arthritis changes describe stiffness or pain in the affected area. People may have difficulty twisting or bending their necks. Specific movements, including physical activity or prolonged positions, can worsen the pain Symptoms improve at rest and get worse in the morning and at the end of the day.

In most cases, people with spondylosis do not report severe symptoms at all. When symptoms of spondylosis occur, they can be mild to severe and develop gradually or even immediately.

T0he most common symptoms associated with spondylosis is a pain in the scapula area. Some people may complain of pain in their hands and fingers. In such cases, the pain increases when standing, lifting heavy objects, sitting, sneezing can be exacerbated.

Some other common symptoms associated with spondylosis are:

  • Neck muscle stiffness
  • Headaches that start from the neck
  • Persistent headaches that usually occur on the back of the head
  • Tingling in the hands and shoulders can also occur in the legs.

Diagnosis of Spondylosis:

Diagnosis of spondylosis, it is essential for doctors to exclude the possibility of having fibromyalgia. The diagnosis process for diagnosis spondylosis would involve going through detailed medical history and complete physical examination, with particular attention to the range of motion and neurological function. Imaging studies can be done to understand your bones and soft tissue.

Some of the physical tests used for diagnosing cervical spondylosis include imaging tests like X-rays, CT scans, MRI scans, EMG (Electromyogram), and others.

What is the Treatment for spondylosis?

First-line care is usually a conservative treatment. Many methods are used to promote optimal spinal health, increase mobility and strength, and eliminate pain. Physiotherapy, Pilates, yoga, low-impact exercise, anti-inflammatory drugs such as NSAIDs and injection therapy have been used to treat spondylosis. Sometimes surgery may be the only option if the patient also has severe pain, Myelopathy, or not responding to conservatieve care. Talk to a doctor about a specific condition to find out which treatment option is right for you. Meet Dr. Surya Prakash Rao Voleti for the best treatment option for your situation.

Spondylosis treatment focuses on minimizing pain and reducing the risk of permanent injury. Here are a few options:

  • Physical Therapy: Depending on your symptoms, a doctor may recommend a physiotherapist. As proper exercise and neck and shoulder muscle movements, you can significantly reduce the pain caused by spondylosis.
  • Medications: Your doctor might suggest some medicines, including:
    • Muscle relaxants
    • Anti-epileptic drugs
    • Narcotics
    • Steroid injections
    • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • Surgery: If the spondylosis becomes severe, surgery in the affected may be needed. Surgery may be the only option if the patient also has severe pain, Myelopathy, or not responding to conservative care


Cervical spondylosis is a common and age-related condition that can cause stiffness, discomfort, and headaches associated with neck pain. A doctor might not be able to cure this condition completely but often recommends conservative Treatment to relieve your discomfort and pain and sometimes in worse condition surgery is recommended.

Spondylosis can be cured with early diagnosis and treatment. Stay alert to symptoms and talk to Dr Surya Prakash Rao Voleti. Book Your Appointment!

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