What are the symptoms of spondylosis?

Symptoms of spondylosis include spinal pain and stiffness in the back or neck that gets worse over time, occasional headaches, and, in some cases, pain in your shoulders and arms. This pain can sometimes be quite severe.

If a nerve is compressed, you may also feel tingling or other abnormal sensations in the shoulders, arms or legs. You may also experience weakness in the arms and legs, loss of sensation, loss of balance, and loss of bladder or bowel control.

Common symptoms of spondylosis

You may experience spondylosis symptoms daily or just once in a while. At times any of these symptoms can be severe:

  • Back or neck pain that may or may not radiate to the limbs
  • Headache (especially with cervical spondylosis)
  • Herniated disc
  • Muscle spasms
  • Neck pain and stiffness (in cervical spondylosis)
  • Nerve problems that cause pain, numbness or tingling in the arms, shoulders or legs
  • Sciatica

Symptoms that might indicate a serious condition

In some cases, spondylosis can be a serious condition that should be immediately evaluated in an emergency setting. Its symptoms may also mimic those of stroke or other serious conditions. Seek immediate medical care if you, or someone you are with, have any of these serious symptoms of nerve compression including:

  • Abnormal sensations, numbness, or weakness on one side of the body
  • Impaired balance and coordination
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control
  • Loss of sensation in the arms, shoulders or legs
  • Muscle weakness in the arms or legs

What is spondylosis?

Spondylosis is a wearing down or degeneration of the spine caused by wear and tear on the joints. Deterioration most frequently involves the cartilage and bones in either the cervical spine (joints of the neck), sometimes referred to as cervical spondylosis, or the lumbar spine, sometimes referred to as lumbar degenerative disc disease. Spondylosis can also affect the middle section of the... Read more about spondylosisintroduction


What causes spondylosis?

The most frequent cause of spondylosis is a natural degeneration of the cartilage and bones of the spine as a result of excessive wear and tear, which is nearly always a natural result of aging. Extreme athletics can exacerbate this degeneration, but in nearly all cases wear and tear over the years is the cause. Over time, the discs become dehydrated and lose the ability to act as cushions between spinal bones. The painful grating of bone against bone often causes the bones to develop growths called bone spurs to replace the missing cartilage. These bone spurs can press on... Read more about spondylosiscauses


How is spondylosis treated?

Spondylosis is not curable, but in many cases the symptoms may decrease or stabilize on their own. Treatment is aimed at relieving pain to help you participate in as many of your normal activities as possible, and occasionally surgical treatment may be required to prevent permanent nerve or spinal cord damage.... Read more about spondylosistreatments

Medical Reviewer: All content has been reviewed by board-certified physicians under the direction of Rich Klasco, M.D., FACEP. Last Annual Review Date: May 2, 2011 Copyright: © Copyright 2011 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Bones, Joints and Muscles

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