Spondylosis is a very general term referring to degenerative osteoarthritis of the joints between the spinal vertebrae and/or neural foraminae (the little holes where nerves originate from). Medical Professionals often describe this as ‘wear and tear’ and the condition is very common. In fact most people of adult age have some degree of wear.
If vertebrae of the neck are involved it is labelled cervical spondylosis. Lower back spondylosis is labelled lumbar spondylosis.
Spondylosis of the spine can affect any of the joints in the lumbar region of the vertebrae which provide support for the spine. The spine consists of several vertebrae (bones) which are joined together by discs which absorb shock, allow movement and provide cushioning.
The major weight bearing area of the body is the lumbar region. Degenerative disease like spondylosis (spinal osteoarthritis) can compromise the structural integrity of the spine affecting multiple joints. This is accompanied by overgrowth of bone and the formation of bone spurs.
Risk factors for the development of lumbar spondylosis
- Age: As a person ages the healing ability of the body decreases and developing arthritis at that time can make the disease progress much faster. Persons over 40 years of age are more prone to developing lumbar spondylosis
- Obesity: Being overweight puts excess load on the joints as the lumbar region carries most of the body’s weight, making a person more prone to lumbar spondylosis.
- Sitting for long periods: Sitting in one position for prolonged time which puts pressure on the lumbar vertebrae
- Prior injury: Certain kinds of trauma make a person more susceptible to developing lumbar spondylosis.
- Family History/Heredity
The symptoms associated with lumbar spondylosis can vary with activity levels and weather influences. Morning stiffness is a common complaint of lumbar spondylosis. Stiffness and pain in the lower back pain that runs into the pelvis area and buttocks (sciatica) may be a major component in lumbar spondylosis. However, in many people with lumbar spine spondylosis features found on x-ray/scan they have no symptoms at all.
It may become very painful to lift any weight or bend making it sometimes difficult to perform basic daily activities. Sleeping or lying down can get painful as the disease progresses and it can cause spinal deformity.
In more severe cases, it may cause pressure on nerve roots with subsequent sensory and/or motor disturbances, such as pain, paresthesia, or muscle weakness in the limbs. It can also disturb bladder and bowel function, this requires immediate medical attention.
Full clinical assessment is highly recommended to guide most effective management of the problem and ensure the best long term outcome.
Due to the degenerative nature of this problem it cannot be ‘cured’. However after proper examination by our Experienced Physiotherapy team, we can help to reduce your pain, restore your range of movement, improve your posture and work on your core strength.
Treatment can involve massage, mobilisation, heat/cold, manipulation, postural advice and exercise. We also work pro-actively to assist with weight control, strengthening and increasing your flexibility to allow you to maintain a healthy spine.
We concentrate on active rehabilitation of this problem and aim to restore you to full function as soon as possible.
This will be tailored to your problem and lifestyle.
Contact us now to see how we can help with your Lumbar Spondylosis.