Spondylosis is the general term used to describe the wear and tear changes that gradually occur in the spine over time. It may also be referred to as osteoarthritis of the spine or degenerative disc disease.  However, changes occur in other parts of the spine besides just the discs, including the bones, joints, and ligaments. Pain in the spine may originate from any of these structures.  In addition, the combination of these changes may cause compression on nerves or the spinal cord. Pain can be exacerbated by certain things such as trauma, strenuous or repetitive activities, excess body weight, and poor posture.  Many people, however, can have findings of spondylosis on imaging of the spine without having any pain or discomfort at all.


  • Pain may be localized to just the spine or may radiate to the arms or legs
  • Dull and achy
  • Throbbing and burning
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Muscle stiffness or spasms
  • Weakness
  • Pain may be increased with prolonged sitting or standing


  • Modify or limit activities and positions that cause increased pain
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Physical therapy
  • Steroid injections
  • Acupuncture
  • Laser therapy
  • Maintenance is important
  • Routine stretching, strengthening, and aerobic exercises
  • Maintain ideal body weight
  • Proper posture and body mechanics

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