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LUMBAR SPONDYLOSIS

Definition

Lumbar spondylosis is a term given to several changes in the spine that occur in a person as his/her age increases.

Lumbar spondylosis includes age related changes in the disks, the formation of extra bony growths on the vertebrae, ligament affections and neurologic complications due to pressure on the spinal nerves.

The disease begins by the age of 45 years and is the most common cause of low back pain and pains the legs.

Symptoms

The common symptoms of lumbar spondylosis are:

  • Pain and stiffness of the back in the morning
  • Pain in the back which increases after rising from a seat after a long time
  • Pain gets worse while lifting, bending or any other heavy works
  • Limping gait or loss of balance during walking
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control (rarely noticed).
  • Leg pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness in the limbs which is more when standing or walking and relieved by rest.

Causes

Spondylosis, or age-related changes in your spinal bones and other tissues, is a common condition that affects most of us at some point in our lives.

Over time, the changes of spondylosis can put pressure on spinal nerves where they join the spine (nerve roots). In severe cases, bones, disks or other tissues can press on the spinal cord.

The major risk factor for spondylosis is aging. By the age of 60, most people have signs of lumbar spondylosis that can be seen on an X-ray. Other risk factors for spondylosis are:

  • Past injury (often several years before)
  • Severe arthritis
  • Past spine surgery

Diagnosis

  • X-rays, CT scan, and MRI scanning are the tests usually advised to a patient suspected of having lumbar spondylosis.

Self help

  • Weight loss.
  • Mind and body relaxing exercises like yoga.
  • Regular mild exercises of the back to avoid stiffness of the back.
  • Proper rest and avoiding heavy works like lifting, pulling, pushing etc.