- What is spondyloarthrosis?
- Prognosis of the disease
- Medical tests
- What causes spondyloarthrosis?
- Can it be prevented?
- Treatments for spondyloarthrosis
- What expert treats it?
What is spondyloarthrosis?
Spondyloarthrosis or osteoarthritis of the spine is a degenerative disease of the joint cartilage that can affect the cervical, lumbar or dorsal area.
The causes of this condition may be age, trauma, vertebral deformity, infections, obesity, overload, postural problems and other disorders such as rheumatism or collagen diseases.
The main symptom of spondyloarthrosis is pain in the affected area, although dorsal spondyloarthrosis may be asymptomatic. In the case of lumbar osteoarthritis, the pain is located in the lower back and usually extends to the buttocks, and in some cases to the legs.
Initial treatment should be with medication and physiotherapy. Surgery is reserved for cases of persistent pain that cannot be controlled with medication.
Prognosis of the disease
The prognosis of the disease is unpredictable, some patients suffer a chronic and progressive evolution, on the contrary others suffer an irregular course with episodes of relapse or complication of the symptoms.
However, there are some patients with radiographic signs of osteoarthritis of the spine who have virtually no symptoms.
Symptoms of spondyloarthrosis
Among the most common symptoms of spondyloarthrosis can be identified:
- Localized pain in the area of spondyloarthrosis; generally back or neck pain.
- Herniated disc: in the case of a pinched nerve, the pain may extend to an extremity such as the arms or legs. It may also cause numbness and tingling. In cases where the nerve is severely pinched, some weakness in the extremities may occur.
In any case, the symptoms of spondyloarthrosis depend on the location of the disc wear.
Medical tests for spondyloarthrosis
There are different tests to determine the definitive diagnosis of spondyloarthrosis. The physician will begin the consultation by asking the patient a few questions and then subject the patient to a physical examination which will include:
- Testing of range of motion in the problem area.
- Test of reflexes and muscle strength to see if there is pressure on nerves of the spinal cord.
- Observation if the spinal cord compression is affecting the patient’s walking.
Among other tests the specialist can practice:
- Imaging tests: X-rays, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, melography.
- Nerve function tests: electromyography, nerve conduction studies.
What are the causes of spondyloarthrosis?
Spondyloarthrosis appears naturally through human aging.
With increasing age, the bones and ligaments of the spine suffer wear and tear that can lead to:
- Bone spurs
- Degeneration and weakness of intervertebral discs.
- Herniated discs
- Bulging discs
- Arthrosis of the joints
- Stiff ligaments
Can it be prevented?
There is no prevention for spondyloarthrosis. However, risk factors include:
- Age: a normal part of aging.
- Occupation: occupations with repetitive movements or complicated positions may cause stress on the spine.
- Previous injuries: these types of injuries may increase the risk of spondyloarthrosis.
- Genetic factors.
Treatments for spondyloarthrosis
Spondyloarthrosis is a degenerative process so there is no specific treatment to reverse this disease.
However, there are some treatments aimed at pain relief:
- Adjuvant therapies (chiropractic and acupuncture)
- Minimally invasive procedures with injections or surgery
- Physical therapy
What specialist treats it?
The rheumatologist is the specialist who treats spondyloarthrosis. From Top Doctors we offer the best professionals and specialists according to their specialty with the mission that the patient can choose the doctor that best suits their needs.