Spondylosis refers to a degeneration of the discs in the neck and back. Most often, it is an age related condition, but also may be caused by repetitive injury, manual labor, smoking, and in some patients, it caused by a genetic predisposition towards disc degeneration. When the disc, which acts normally as a shock absorber of the spine, degenerates, it narrows. This results in narrowing of the space between the two vertebrae that disc separates. This narrowing can result in pressure on the nerves, which can cause pain and muscle weakness in the limbs.
In rare cases, pressure on the spinal cord may result in general weakness, loss of balance, and loss of bowel and/or bladder control.
Conservative treatments are usually the first course and may include lifestyle modifications, anti-inflammatory medications and physical therapy. In severe cases that have failed these more conservative treatments surgery may be recommended.