Spondylosis (or spinal osteoarthritis) of the lumbar spine- the lower back- is a degenerative disorder that may cause loss of normal spinal structure and function.
Although aging is the primary cause and the condition usually begins above 40, the location and rate of degeneration varies in individuals. As the lumbar spine carries most of the body’s weight it is often affected more than the upper spine, similar to wear and tear on the knees. When the structure of the joints in the lower back change over time it leads to osteoarthritis. This is typically due to wear and tear such and heavy lifting and bending.
- Degenerative changes within the intervertebral discs (Narrowing of the disc spaces)
- Thickening of the ligaments that surround the disc
- Changes in the alignment of the joints that connect the back of the spine
Signs and symptoms
- Pain and morning stiffness are common symptoms
- Movement can also stimulates pain fibers in the facet joints (sides of the spine)
- Sitting for long time may cause pain and other symptoms due to pressure on the lumbar vertebrae
- Repetitive movements such as lifting and bending also may increase pain.
- Other symptoms include numbness and tingling in the buttocks or legs
- Limitation in range of motion in involved spine segment
- Back pain and back stiffness
- Numbness or weakness in the legs, buttock, bowel and bladder
- Poor bladder control
- Problem in walking in some rare cases
This condition is usually diagnosed with a manual exam by a physiotherapist or doctor together with an MRI or x-ray imaging of the spine.
Physiotherapy manipulative treatment are the common treatments of the lumbar sponlylosis.
Physiotherapy tries to restore your range of motion, flexibility and works on core strengthening.
At Physio Savvy some decompression techniques such as manual mobilization and mechanical traction are done to release the compressed nerve and reduce the referred pain. You will then be taught lifestyle and posture modifications to make it more manageable in day to day activities.