Lumbar spondylosis

Lumbar spondylosis, or arthritis in the joints of the back, is the medical term for age-related, wear-and-tear changes that occur over a lifetime. Just like a hip or knee joint, the facet joints in the spine can develop arthritis from the wear and tear they endure as you get older. If the cartilage that protects these joints wears out, bone-on-bone contact can develop, which may result in the formation of bone spurs or bony projections. Over time, bone spurs can narrow the space for the spinal nerves.

In many cases, lumbar spondylosis can be asymptomatic.1 Once symptoms do arise, lumbar spondylosis can respond well to non-surgical treatment that may include medication and physical therapy. Surgery is not commonly recommended for lumbar spondylosis and back pain unless your doctor determines that the spinal nerves are being compressed.

  1. Middleton K, Fish DE. Lumbar spondylosis: clinical presentation and treatment approaches. Curr Rev Musculoskelet Med. 2009;2(2):94-104.​
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