Spondylosis: Cause, Classification and Treatment Options without Surgery
The medical term Spondylosis is descriptive of degenerative disorder of the vertebra. Almost anyone can develop spondylosis (spondylotic changes) as they grow older. However, several predisposing risk factors increase the possibility of some individuals developing spondylotic changes. The most common risk factors associated with this condition include obesity, traumatic injury, and participation in high impact sports, as well as genetic factors. Despite this, the natural aging process is still considered the primary risk factor in developing symptoms of spondylosis.
With time, the spinal soft tissues, which are composed of cartilage, spinal discs, ligaments, muscles, and tendons, deteriorate due to normal wear and tear. The spinal soft tissue components have a high water composition. Spondylosis leads to the dehydration of spinal soft tissue components such as spinal discs and cartilages. This dehydration increases the chance of exposed bones rubbing against each other, leading to symptoms such as pain. Pain resulting from wear and tear is frequently due to bone spurs in affected individuals. Furthermore, deterioration of the spinal soft tissue can cause the tendons, muscles, and ligaments to become thicker and stiffer. Spinal deterioration in individuals above the age of 40 years can easily be observed in X-ray, MRI, and CT scans. To date, the best means of assessing the impact of spondylotic changes is through the MRI (magnetic resonance imaging).
The spine is made up of 33 vertebrae. The coming together of the first 24 vertebrae (spinal bones) forms the three (3) spine regions, which are lumbar (lower back), thoracic (mid back), and cervical (neck). The remaining nine segments form the coccygeal and sacral regions of the spine. The most common areas of the spine that are affected by spondylosis are the lumbar (lower back), thoracic (mid back), and cervical (neck). With this, spondylosis classification is in most cases done by the location.
Lumbar spondylosis affects the lumbar vertebrae (L1-L5). It is the second most common location for spondylosis to develop, and the deterioration process mainly involves the lower back portion, as it is the part that bears most weight and has a broad range of motion.
Thoracic spondylosis affects the thoracic vertebrae (T1-T12). It is the least common location for spondylosis development and the deterioration process. The mid back (mid thoracic spine) is a common site of diagnosis for spondylosis.
Cervical spondylosis affects the cervical vertebrae (C1-C7), which form the neck region; it is the most common location for spondylosis in the spine. The cervical spine (the neck) has a tremendous range of motion and mobility. These factors and the fact that it bears the weight of the head predisposes the neck to spondylosis at greater levels than the lumbar (lower back) region of the spine. Additionally, our modern gadgets and handheld electronic devices are the main culprits for increased risk factors in the development of this degenerative condition in the neck.
Spondylosis should not be confused with spondylitis. While spondylosis refers to degenerative changes resulting from arthritis and spinal disc issues, spondylitis is descriptive of an inflammatory type of arthritic changes, such as ankylosing spondylitis.
Symptoms of Spondylosis
Patients suffering from this degenerative spine disorder do not always experience symptoms. Some patients may never experience symptoms up until they are involved in a traumatic incident. This means that patients that have spondylosis may not experience symptoms such as pain, numbness in arms, legs, hands or feet.
Typically, a symptomatic patient may complain of a wide variety of symptoms. Some may complain of pain, numbness, tingling sensations, and muscle weakness. The symptoms in most arise when the disorder causes anatomical deformity in the spinal joint, leading to impingement and irritation of the spinal cord or spinal nerves. Often, the irritating factor is a bone spur, ligament calcification, bulging disc or herniated discs (slip-disc or slipped disc) that compress spinal nerve roots as well as the spinal cord itself.
Treatment of Spondylosis
Conventional Western medicine dictates that patients with spondylosis need treatments through painkillers, injections, and surgery. However, studies have proven that patients who receive these forms of treatment only obtain temporary relief and are more susceptible to relapses. Conservative treatment approaches must be explored, such as physiotherapy and chiropractic care. Acupuncture has had some successes in reducing the pain, but it lacks the ability to fix the root-cause. Often, patients that receive acupuncture find themselves in pain. Therefore, we would recommend a course of care that addresses the actual cause rather than just the symptoms. In other words, acupuncture, medications, and injections do not offer much help in the long haul.
What is the Best Treatment Option for Spondylosis?
The most suitable treatment options are those that are conservative and non-invasive treatments, such as those offered at our centers. Invasive treatment options, such as surgery, are not recommended as they pose a greater risk to patients. Accurate diagnosis and identification of the root-causes are critical for the successful treatment and speedy recovery of patients. Therapy programs or treatment options that are not targeted may improve symptoms for a period, but they are often returning time and again. Therefore, our advice is to seek out clinicians and practices that have experienced knowledgeable clinical staff who understands all root-causes and possess the abilities and methodologies for targeted methods of care.
Chiropractors and physiotherapists can be helpful if the care they provide is targeted. Additionally, those with bone spurs may want to avoid the traditional means of physiotherapy or chiropractic. Physiotherapists and chiropractors do treat a host of spine and joint conditions, but spondylosis requires specialized knowledge and expertise. Above all, care must be taken not to aggravate or exacerbate a patient through aggressive means of treatment. In other words, the typical spine care given to so many neck or upper back pain sufferers may not be as effective. An excellent example of aggressive treatment is the rotatory chiropractic adjustments or excessive manual therapy and range of motion exercises that physiotherapies perform.
The Chiropractic Specialty Center Difference in Spondylosis Treatment
Early stages of spondylosis may be asymptomatic or may just present with slight pain. However, not dealing with it in the right manner may lead to severe consequences down the road. Don’t take it lightly and get your spine checked by one of our non-surgical clinical experts today.
We may be biased, but our views on our methods are based on our accomplishments in the field of non-surgical spine care. Our success for spondylosis speaks volumes about our abilities, knowledge, and experience. In short, if you are diagnosed with spondylosis and need treatments, we are your best option in Malaysia. Our proven method of spine care is a testament to the level of research-based, the nonsurgical treatment you can expect from the Chiropractic Specialty Center.
Our aim in the treatment of spondylosis is not just symptom relief, but also correction. As such, we offer targeted, diagnosis-based treatments through the combined efforts of Best Clinical Physiotherapists, World-Class Research-Based Chiropractors, and advanced spine technology. Our go-to method for this degenerative spine disorder is the best-targeted and diagnosis specific method as offered through NSD therapy®.
Non-surgical treatments offered through NSD therapy® is not a single method of care, but an integrative method of spine care enabled through advanced spine technology and backed by research. To date, NSD Therapy® provides the most holistic means of treatment for spondylosis. Don’t just take our word for it, visit our center to discover what makes our methods better.
Visit a Chiropractic Specialty Center Today
Our clinical teams offer integrative non-surgical solutions that others do not have. Chiropractic Specialty Center is the only center or clinic in Malaysia to offer NSD Therapy® treatments. Our systems and methods are diagnosis specific. Therefore, we treat the root-cause of your condition and not just the symptoms. Best of all, getting care from one of our centers will enable you to recover without medication, injection or surgery. Even if you have had a surgical intervention, Visit us and discover our non-invasive treatment options before agreeing to an invasive procedure. Our clinical teams have the best non-surgical treatment options for spondylosis in Malaysia.