Back Massage


Spondylosis isn't a single disease, but a collective term for conditions that cause degeneration of the spine. It's a common cause of back pain, especially for older people, but the team at Associated Orthopedists of Detroit PC in St. Clair Shores and Shelby Township, Michigan, provide a range of effective treatments for the causes of spondylosis. If back or neck pain is giving you sleepless nights, call the practice today to schedule your appointment, or use the online booking tool.

Spondylosis Q & A

What is spondylosis?

Spondylosis is an umbrella term for conditions that cause degeneration of the spine, such as:

Facet joint osteoarthritis

Facet joints are the small pairs of joints that sit on the back of each vertebral level and give your spine its flexibility. If the cartilage on the facet joints starts to break down, the bones can rub together, causing friction and inflammation and potentially leading to the formation of bone spurs (osteophytes) that can press on nerves and ligaments in your spine. Facet joint osteoarthritis can also cause a condition called spondylolisthesis, where a vertebra slides forward and compresses the spinal nerves.

Spinal stenosis

Spinal stenosis refers to the narrowing of the spinal column that can occur because of degenerating spinal discs or the growth of bone spurs. As the space within the spinal canal reduces, it leaves less room for the nerves to pass through, and they can start coming under pressure, which causes pain and sensory dysfunction.

Degenerative disc disease

As you age, the flexible discs that cushion your vertebrae start to dry out, becoming thinner and harder and sometimes breaking down. This can lead to an increase in pressure in the spine and change the way your spine moves, both of which can cause back or neck pain.

How is spondylosis diagnosed?

To find out exactly what's causing your spondylosis, the team at Associated Orthopedists of Detroit PC may use diagnostic imaging and other types of tests, such as:

  • CT (computed tomography) scan
  • X-ray imaging
  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan
  • Myelogram (X-ray or CT using dye)
  • Nerve conduction studies
  • Electromyogram (EMG)
Once the team finds the cause of your spondylosis, they can prescribe the most appropriate treatments.

How is spondylosis treated?

In many cases, patients improve using conservative approaches such as physical therapy, massage, gentle exercise, and the use of mild painkillers. You may also benefit from the regenerative medicine techniques available at Associated Orthopedists of Detroit PC. Some patients may require surgery to resolve the cause of their spondylosis. The type of surgery you need varies depending on the reason for your condition but is likely to involve decompression surgeries such as:

  • Facetectomy - removal of the facet joint
  • Foraminotomy - increasing space in the foramen
  • Laminectomy - removing all or part of the lamina
  • Laminotomy - enlarging the space in the lamina
If you're experiencing pain in your back or neck, spondylosis may be the cause. To get an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment for your condition, call Associated Orthopedists of Detroit PC or book an appointment online.