Spondylosis affects the Spine

Spondylosis affects the Spine

Osteoarthritis in the spine is often called “spondylosis”, although strictly speaking this term is less of a diagnosis and more of an umbrella term (more on that below in the section “About Spondylosis”).

Sometimes it’s found on an X-ray, MRI or CT scan but doesn’t really impact one’s life very much at all. But for some individuals, it can be very debilitating, even when a medical image doesn’t show that much spinal deterioration.

Like with so many conditions, when it hurts, it’s most often treated with painkillers. And while painkillers can be really helpful to reduce pain temporarily, they don’t do anything to solve the underlying problem. In addition, many individuals who treat spondylosis with painkillers feel that the pain relief is not as effective after long term use. And maybe worst of all, long term use of painkillers (even the over-the-counter variety) can cause long term injury to the stomach, the liver or the kidneys. Or interact badly with other medication. So painkillers can get very messy for one’s overall health. But what to do when there’s no other choice?

Fortunately, there is an alternative worth investigating. Cold Laser Therapy is a very promising treatment for osteoarthritis of the spine, that actually works to heal the source of pain. It transfers light energy into affected cells to stimulate the body’s own, natural, healing process. This means that the treatment is completely safe, and there are no risks of negative side effects. And it’s entirely non-invasive, since the light emitting devices are just touching the surface of the skin and the calibrated light brings energy to cells even several cm under the skin. This in turn allows the cells to increase their ATP production and kick start a natural healing process.

Cold Laser Therapy: Spondylosis Treatment
Cold Laser Therapy Spondylosis Treatment: Step 1

Cold Laser Therapy Spondylosis Treatment:
Step 1

Cold Laser Therapy Spondylosis Treatment: Step 2

Cold Laser Therapy Spondylosis Treatment:
Step 2

Cold Laser Therapy Spondylosis Treatment: Step 3

Cold Laser Therapy Spondylosis Treatment:
Step 3

Activates Cartilage Production:
Promotes the natural cartilage growth process by increasing the production of cellular energy (ATP).

Accelerates Bone Repair:
Stimulates the bone cells to replicate and produce new healthy bone tissue.

Decreases Inflammation:
Speeds up the body's natural inflammation phase and induces the repair phase of healing.

Stimulates Blood Flow:
Increases the delivery of oxygen and nutrients required for healing of the affected cells.

Visit our Cold Laser Therapy Page to learn more about how the treatment works.
About Spondylosis

Spondylosis is technically not a medical “diagnosis”, since it’s just a general term for degeneration of the spine. However in practical use, the term spondylosis is most often used  to mean osteoarthritis, or wear and tear of the spinal joints.

If it affects the neck (also known as the cervical spine), it’s called cervical spondylosis. In the lower back (lumbar spine) it’s called lumbar spondylosis.  Found less commonly, in the mid back (thoracic spine), it’s called – you guessed it! – thoracic spondylosis. All of these terms refer to structural changes to the vertebrae and discs between them.

Many individuals with spondylosis may have no symptoms at all, and often these joint changes are coincidental findings seen on X-rays. Even if one does have pain as a result of spondylosis, the degree of severity of degeneration found on an X-ray does not often correlate with the severity of one’s symptoms.

Spinal joints are made up of the vertebrae and intervertebral discs (shock absorbing cartilage between each vertebrae). Wear and tear causes the intervertebral discs to lose height over time, which in turn causes the vertebrae to move closer together. Bone spurs may form as a result of overpressure on the vertebrae from this compression. These changes may cause narrowing of small spaces between the vertebrae where nerves exit from the spinal cord, potentially putting pressure on those nerves. This may cause nerve irritation and subsequent tingling, numbness, and weakness into the extremities.

Common symptoms with cervical spondylosis

  • Neck pain
  • Stiffness (may be worse in the morning)
  • Headaches
  • Pain referring into the shoulders and/or arms
  • Restricted mobility, causing rotation to be difficult
  • “Cracking”, “grinding” or “crunching” sounds with movement
  • Numbness, tingling and/or weakness in one or both arms and/or hands

Common symptoms with lumbar spondylosis

  • Lower back pain
  • Stiffness (may be worse in the morning)
  • Pain referring into the buttocks and/or leg(s)
  • Numbness, tingling or weakness in one or both legs
  • Loss of balance and/or difficulty walking
  • In rare cases, loss of bowel or bladder control (requires immediate referral to emergency)

Common symptoms with thoracic spondylosis

  • Upper and/or mid-back pain
  • Stiffness (may be worse in the morning)
  • Numbness, tingling or muscle weakness in one or both arms

Other common degenerative conditions under the umbrella term Spondylosis include

  • Spinal stenosis – abnormal narrowing of the spinal canal, putting pressure on the spinal cord, causing pain in the back and/or legs with standing or walking (sitting or laying down typically help reduce pain)
  • Facet joint osteoarthritis – degeneration between the facet joints located in the back section of the joint, commonly causing pain with intense physical activity or extended periods of inactivity
  • Degenerative disc disease – where the discs lose hydration, and thus decrease in height, affecting the function of the disc and restricting joint mobility in the affected area