Spinal Arthritis / SpondylosisSpondylosis is a broad medical term for degenerative arthritis of the spine. Much of the degeneration of the spine is a normal part of the aging process. Everyone experiences some amount of spondylosis as they age. Patients who have spondylosis do not always present with symptoms. More than 90% of seniors display signs of arthritis on their cervical neck imaging studies. These changes most commonly occur at the vertebral body and nerve root openings. Facet syndrome is the term for degenerative arthritis effecting the facet joints.
Causes of Spinal ArthritisThough spinal arthritis is age related, it can can occur at any age. Stressful labor jobs, sports and previous neck or back injuries can accelerate arthritis. Genetics may play a large part in the onset and progression of spinal arthritis. Smoking can also speed up the degenerative process in the spine.
Symptoms of Spinal ArthritisStiffness or aching in effected areas of the neck and back are typical complaints from patients suffering with arthritis. Difficulty turning or bending your head can indicate arthritis in the neck. Particular physical activities or maintaining a position for extended periods of time may lead to pain. Arthritis in the neck can cause headaches and a grinding noise may be heard when moving your head. Symptoms can lessen with rest, and may be worst at the beginning and end of the day.
In patients where the condition has progressed, arthritis can cause pressure on nerve roots and cause pain, changes in sensations or a feelings of weakness from pinched nerves. If nerves are involved, people may experience feelings of altered sensations in their arms or legs. Degeneration can cause spinal stenosis and be the cause of additional pressure on the spinal cord. When the spinal cord experiences pressure it can cause myelopathy, which is a wide variety of vague symptoms characterized by all over feelings of weakness, award walking, loss of balance, sensation changes in the hands and feet and loss of continence.