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What is lumbar spondylosis?

Lumbar spondylosis is arthritis of the lower back which commonly affects people over the age of 60. Physiotherapy can reduce symptoms of lumbar spondylosis.

What can cause lumbar spondylosis?

The lumbar spine is made up of 5 vertebrae which are separated by discs which act as shock absorbers and make the spine more flexible. As people get older, there is wear and tear of the joints in the lumbar spine which results in extra bony growths called osteophytes around the vertebrae and discs to try and repair the damage. The osteophytes can make the spine very stiff and sometimes impact on the surrounding nerve causing further problems.

What are the symptoms of lumbar spondylosis?

Stiffness and low back pain are the most common symptoms of lumbar spondylosis. You may feel stiffer in the mornings and it may take you a while to get moving and reduce these symptoms. In more serious cases of lumbar spondylosis, the nerves around the affected vertebrae may become irritated by the bony changes leading to neurological symptoms. These can include:

What should I do if I have lumbar spondylosis?

It is important that you visit your GP if you think you may have symptoms of lumbar spondylosis. They will be able to provide you with an accurate diagnosis of your condition and may recommend that you have an X-ray or MRI scan if your symptoms are more severe. It is important that you begin a physiotherapy programme as soon as you have received a professional diagnosis of lumbar spondylosis.

What shouldn’t I do if I have lumbar spondylosis?

You should not ignore symptoms of lumbar spondylosis, however mild they are. If no action is taken, the condition will get worse over time and it is likely that they will become more disabling. Do not try and treat the symptoms yourself as this may also may the condition worse.

Physiotherapy for lumbar spondylosis.

Your physiotherapy programme will include range of movement and strengthening exercises for the lumbar spine to help get it more mobile. Pain control modalities will be used including TENS and wax therapy. Massage may be used to relax the muscles surrounding the spine. Pacing advice is very important as it allows you to stay in control of your condition and not letting it take over your life. Other treatments include:

Can lumbar spondylosis have any long-term effects?

Lumbar spondylosis is usually relatively mild and able to be managed conservatively (without surgery). However, if symptoms are ignored and become more severe, surgery may be an option and therefore recovery will be considerably longer.

To arrange a physiotherapy assessment with a spinal specialist call Physio.co.uk on 0330 088 7800 or book online.

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