What are the causes of the disease?
Changes in the spine characteristic of spondylosis can have several causes, such as advancing age, overweight or due to repetitive work. Below, we explain about some factors that can cause the disease:
Excessive bone growth
As the spine weakens, some bones may overgrow to try to compensate for the spine, making it stronger. However, this overgrowth can occur in delicate areas of the spine, such as the spinal cord and nerves, causing pain in the individual.
Dehydration of the disks
The discs that make up the spine have a type of gel inside and have the function of absorbing shocks of elevation, torsion and other activities. When this gel dries, the movement of the vertebrae can be more painful.
The internal gel in the vertebral discs can leak through fissures, and when this occurs, there may be pressure on the spinal cord and nerves, resulting in symptoms such as numbness in the arm and sciatic nerve.
If you have ever suffered a spine accident, the sequelae will most likely accelerate the aging process of the structure.
The ligaments between one disc and another can become more rigid over time, which ends up affecting neck movements.
Repetitive movements or exercises, as well as heavy work, can compromise the function of the spine, due to the fact that they exert extra pressure on it, resulting in premature wear.
Symptoms of Spondylosis
The main manifesting symptom of this disease is severe pain in the spine region. In addition to this, there are other symptoms that also stand out:
- Pain on both sides of the lower back, which may radiate to the buttocks and back of the thigh;
- Pain around the shoulder;
- Muscle weakness;
- Most frequent headaches on the back of the head;
- Tingling or numbness in some limbs, especially in the shoulders, arms and legs.
How the diagnosis is made
If you have had the above symptoms for more than three months, it is time to visit a spine specialist, who may be an orthopedist or neurosurgeon. During the consultation, he will ask you about the symptoms and perform some clinical tests, such as reflex testing and checking for muscle deficiencies.
In addition to them, other tests may be ordered by the doctor, such as radiography, tomography and magnetic resonance imaging of the spine.
Treatment of Spondylosis
First, you need to relieve the pain. Therefore, the doctor may prescribe medications such as painkillers and anti-inflammatories, in addition to suggesting intense rest. Among the most used drugs in the treatment for spondylosis, are:
- Muscle relaxants, such as cyclobenzaprine , for the treatment of muscle spasms;
- Narcotics , such as hydrocodone, for pain relief;
- Antiepileptics, such as gabapentin , to relieve pain caused by nerve damage;
- Steroid injections, such as prednisone , to decrease tissue inflammation and, consequently, pain.
After this step, physiotherapy sessions can also be recommended to the patient, so that the muscles are strengthened and thus reduce the instability of the spine. However, if the pain still remains extreme and does not subside with the treatment, the solution will be to undergo surgery.
Among the options for surgical treatment are:
- Laminectomy (removal of vertebral laminae);
- Foraminotomy (opening of the foramina, opening for the passage of vessels and nerves between the bones);
- Flavectomy (removal of the yellow ligament, located on the back of the spine);
- Osteotomy (removal of the “parrot’s beaks”).
NEVER self-medicate or stop using a medication without first consulting a doctor. Only he will be able to tell which medication, dosage and duration of treatment is the most suitable for his specific case. The information contained on this site is only intended to inform, not in any way intended to replace the guidance of a specialist or serve as a recommendation for any type of treatment. Always follow the instructions on the package insert and, if symptoms persist, seek medical or pharmaceutical advice.
Can I prevent Spondylosis?
There is no effective way to prevent the disease, but some measures can be taken to keep the spine healthy for as long as possible. One way of prevention is to avoid trauma to the spine, such as those caused by repetitive movements and exercises.
In addition, the spread of information about the disease to as many people as possible is also valid.