Basically, conditions like arthritis, repetitive motion, poor posture, and/or a sedentary lifestyle (like if your work involves sitting down for long periods of time) can cause the bone tissue in your vertebrae to wear down. This is usually an unequal process. So, as the bone is deteriorating in one area, the surrounding areas begin to protrude.
Also, even while our bones are breaking down, our body is also trying to repair the damage by building them back up again. Since the breakdown process is usually faster, new pockets of bone growths will protrude, appearing as new growth. These bone spurs/growths are visible on X-rays.
Side Effects of Lumbar Spondylosis (a.k.a. bony additions/protrusions on your lower back vertebrae)
Before we go into the side effects of this medical condition, let’s take a quick moment to review Spinal Anatomy 101:
- Your spine consists of 33 vertebrae (as long as you are human).
- These vertebrae are divided into four regions, from the top to the bottom: Cervical, Thoracic, Lumbar, and Sacral.
- Lumbar Spondylosis occurs in the lumbar region of your spine so, in most cases, the side effects relate to the vertebrae, discs, and/or nerves anywhere in this region, and below.
- Shrinking space between vertebrae. As the vertebrae begin to erode, the space between them shrinks/narrows.
- Bulging discs. As vertebrae begin to press on the cushiony discs in between them, the discs can start to bulge. This can eventually compress surrounding nerve tissue. Usually the sciatic nerve is the most affected.
- Pinched nerves. Bone spurs and growths, or bulging discs, can cause the surrounding nerves to be pinched. Again, the sciatic nerve is usually the one most affected.
- Pinched spinal column. If the condition becomes severe, without any natural and/or surgical treatment and therapy, the spinal column can become pinched or compressed. This is very serious and can result in loss of bladder control, trouble with walking or balance, and other nerve-related conditions.
In most cases, patients with lumbar spondylosis will never progress to a state where their spinal column is affected. However, people who have spondylosis in their lumbar region often experience pinched nerves. This can result in a condition called Sciatica, since the sciatic nerve is usually the victim. Pinched nerves can result in:
- Numbness tingling in extremities
- Lower right back pain
- Shooting pains through the Sciatic nerve pathway
- Difficulty sitting or standing comfortably for any length of time.
Can Lumbar Spondylosis Be Treated?
Yes! If you suffer from lower back pain, or suspect you are developing this condition, you should visit a medical professional for an official diagnosis. If you catch it early enough, lifestyle changes, exercises, and postural support such as, can do wonders. These treatments can alleviate back pain naturally and slow down the spines degenerative process, often preventing the need for surgical procedures.