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Spondylosis

This condition is a degeneration of the spine that can affect the spine at any level, resulting in pain and discomfort that can grow worse over time.

Overview

This condition is a degeneration of the spine that can affect the spine at any level, resulting in pain and discomfort that can grow worse over time.

Causes

This condition most commonly results from normal wear and tear associated with aging.

Degeneration Begins

The degeneration process usually begins with the discs. As the body gets older, the spinal discs begin to dry out, lose their elasticity and collapse. The thinning of the discs places stress on the facet joints and the ligaments that hold the vertebrae together. These structures weaken, allowing the vertebrae to become overly mobile.

Causes of Pain

The vertebrae may begin to shift out of proper alignment and rub against each other. Bony growths called bone spurs may form on the irritated vertebrae. The vertebral shifting and the excess bone growth can reduce the space through which the nerve roots travel, and the nerve roots or the spinal cord can become painfully compressed.

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