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Lumbar Spondylosis

Infographic of Lumbar Spondylosis.
Published by Dr. Umesh Srikantha on April 15, 2020

Lumbar spondylosis is referring to umbrella of terms describing all the age related degenerative conditions of spine.

Spondylosis may be applied non-specifically to any and all degenerative conditions affecting the disks, vertebral bodies, and/or associated joints (facet and Sacro iliac joint) of the lumbar spine.

Resized image of comparison of human spine vertebrae with Lumbar spine.

Common facts:

  • Mixed group of lumbar degenerative disorder
  • Inflammation, stiffness, and pain in your spinal joints
  • Lumbar spondylosis can begin as early as 20 years of age
  • 27%-37% with lumbar spondylosis do not experience any symptoms
  • It is a series of anatomical changes happening in spine occurs leading to more degeneration

Risk factors and Cause:

  • Multifactorial
  • Ageing – advancing age – strongest risk factor- more than 60 years
  • Activity and occupation- twisting, lifting, bending, and prolonged duration of driving are the factors which may increase both the likelihood and severity of spondylosis
  • Prior lumbar spine surgery
  • Genetic and Environmental factor, smoking, obesity
  • Trauma to spine


  • On and off back ache – Isolated back pain is relatively rare – Back pain that eases with rest or after exercising
  • Limited range of motion in your low back – Difficulty bending and/or walking
  • Stiffness in the lower back
  • Leg pain – Muscle spasms and cramp
  • Numbness, tingling in lower limbs

MRI and X rays of the spine are helpful in diagnosis


  • Topical medications such as creams, sprays, gels or patches
  • Exercise therapy- main stay- aerobic exercise, muscle strengthening, and stretching exercises
  • Pharmacotherapy – Medication
  • Analgesic and NSAIDS- Only for acute pain – Not recommended for chronic pain
  • Muscle relaxants for chronic pain – short-term pain relief
  • Antidepressants
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation
  • Epidural steroid injection
  • Facet joint injection – Significant pain relief and psychological benefit
  • S.I joint injection
  • Intradiscal therapy – Annuloplsty
  • Surgical interventions are generally reserved for patients who have failed conservative options and options include spine decompression or spine fusion
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