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About Spondylosis

Spondylosis, also called spinal osteoarthritis, is a form of arthritis caused by wear and tear to the spine. This occurs when discs and joints degenerate or when bone spurs develop on the vertebrae or both. In addition to impairing spine movement, these changes can also affect nerves and other bodily functions. Spondylosis is often used in the setting of X-ray evaluation of the spine, describing a flattening or reduction in height of the intervertebral disc in the setting of degeneration.

Spondylosis is a common condition, but it usually does not directly point to any serious health risks. It is usually not painful, but some patients may experience pain. The condition worsens as one age and can affect any part of the spine, including:

  • Cervical spondylosis – affects the neck
  • Thoracic spondylosis – affects the upper and middle part of the spine
  • Lumbar spondylosis – affects the lower part of the spine

Symptoms Of Spondylosis

Pain and stiffness
Stiffness and mild pain are common symptoms but could potentially get worse when doing certain movements or being stationary (whether sitting or lying down) for a long time.
Difficulty in walking
Some may have severe symptoms which include difficulty in walking due to weakness in the legs and loss of balance.
Other symptoms
Other severe symptoms include headache, muscle spasms, grinding or popping feeling when moving the spine and loss of bladder or bowel control.

A Message About Spondylosis

Spondylosis is often painless. The pain relating to degenerative spinal conditions is often separate from the degeneration/spondylosis. It may be related to a nerve compression or discogenic pain or facet arthritis or instability of the spine etc. We need to address the underlying condition to reverse the pain condition.

Treatment of the underlying pain condition will not reverse Spondylosis. We do not reverse the degeneration but aim to treat and control the pain condition. Spondylosis is often associated with other conditions such as scoliosis, osteophyte formation, vertebrae fracture and spondylolisthesis. These may need other forms of treatment to address their pain condition.

Diagnosing Spondylosis

Here at Singapore Paincare, our team of experienced primary care doctors and pain care specialists together with an orthopaedic doctor will evaluate your condition. An X-ray, MRI or CT scan may also be needed to check the severity of the condition.

What Treatments Are Available for Spondylosis?

At Singapore Paincare, we strive to treat your pain with the least invasive option possible after accurately identifying the cause. Our approach to pain resolution focuses on the removal of pain generators via specialised injection and minimally invasive procedures. Combined with pharmacological treatments and cognitive and physical rehabilitative therapies, we help patients improve their functions and prevent pain from recurring.

Non-Surgical Treatment for Spondylosis

Spinal Bracing
The use of immobilisation tools such as lumbar corsets may be recommended by our doctors to prevent aggravation of spondylosis while correcting posture.
Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory drugs
Prescriptions of varying medications such as NSAIDs have anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects. These drugs may help to relieve pain.
Neurospan Radiofrequency Injections
In facet-mediated pain arising from arthritis of the posterior elements of facet joints in the spine, Our Neurospan Radiofrequency ablation will treat arthritis within the facet joints. Furthermore, these injections aim to reduce nerve hypersensitivity in the spine by using radiofrequency waves to desensitise them. Furthermore, a mix of local anaesthesia and steroids is given concurrently at the correct location and level, which helps to break the pain cycle, reduce inflammation, and improve healing. This treatment aims to provide long-lasting relief.
Physical Therapy
Our physiotherapists use resistance training to reduce pain. It also consists of stretching exercises to increase the motion of the joint and minimize loss of muscle. However, the intensity and type of exercise may differ based on the conditions of the patient.

Surgical Treatment for Spondylosis

Non-surgical treatment has been effective for the majority of spondylosis cases, surgery is rarely required unless the pain does not respond well to conservative options. As surgery always comes with associated risk, complications and downtime, it may not be suitable for everyone. You should carefully weigh the decision before deciding to go under the knife by considering the pros and cons of both non-surgical methods and surgical reconstruction.

Surgical treatment is needed if pinched nerves cause severe numbness, weakness, or loss of bowel or bladder control and if the damage is likely to worsen. During surgery, the disc or bone that is pressing against the nerves may be removed and the nearby vertebrae might be fused or replace the damaged disc with an artificial one.

How Can I Prevent Spondylosis?

While you can’t stop ageing and avoid having spondylosis, you can follow these tips to keep your spine healthy:

  • Getting plenty of rest
  • Exercising regularly
  • Maintaining a good posture
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Stop smoking and avoid excessive use of alcohol

Get Your Pain Resolved

Send your enquiries or consult our pain experts today.

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