Spondylosis is a type of arthritis spurred by wear and tear to the spine. It happens when discs and joints degenerate, when bone spurs grow on the vertebrae, or both. These changes can impair the spine’s movement and affect the nerves and other functions.
Cervical spondylosis is the most common type of progressive disorder that affects the neck during aging.
According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, more than 85 percent of people older than 60 have cervical spondylosis.
Other types of spondylosis develop in different parts of the spine:
Thoracic spondylosis affects the middle of the spine.
Lumbar spondylosis affects the lower back.
Multilevel spondylosis affects more than one part of the spine.
The effects of spondylosis vary among individuals, but they do not usually cause serious problems.
When a person has symptoms , these are often pain and stiffness that tend to come and go.
Spinal osteoarthritis is another term for Spondylosis. Osteoarthritis describes arthritis that results from wear and tear. It can affect any joint in the body.
Spondylosis happens when the discs and joints of the spine degenerate with age.
The spine helps give the body structure and supports most of its weight. It also carries and protects almost all of the main nerve branches that run from the brain.
The spine curved, not straight, and the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar parts of the spine contain 24 bones known as vertebrae.
Between these vertebrae are joints that allow the spine to move flexibly. These are called the facet joints.
Also, soft, rubbery tissue called intervertebral discs separate the vertebrae. These consist of cartilage endplates and a tough exterior, the annulus fibrosus, surrounding an inner core, the nucleus pulposus.
Intervertebral discs help achieve smooth movement, and they cushion against any impact on the bones.
As a person ages, the discs become drier, thinner, and harder, and they lose some of their cushioning ability. This is why an older person is more likely to have a compression fracture of the vertebra than a younger person.
A vertebral compression fracture results from bone collapsing in the spine. It commonly occurs with osteoporosis.
The facet joints between the vertebrae also function less well with age because of wear and tear on their cartilage surfaces.
As the cartilage erodes, the bones start to rub together, causing friction. This can result in the formation of bony growths, called bone spurs.
The loss of rubbery tissues and the development of spurs make the spine stiffer. Back movement also becomes less smooth, and friction increases.