Lumbar Spondylosis in a middle age female

Patient

Q: What is lumbar spondylosis. i have been diagonized with osteophytosis at L4-5 level. What does that mean and how do I reduce my lower back pain.

Doctor

A:    Lumbar spondylosis is the degenerative condition of the lumbar spine that affects the vertebral bodies and intervertebral disks ,for example, disk herniation (bulging) and spur formation (bone growth, meaning: osteophytes),as well as the contents of the spinal canal (nerve roots and/or spinal cord), and also the facet joints and ligaments. Conservative treatment of low back pain due to these kind of degenerative changes includes:  Physical therapy, local heat and exercises to stretch lumbar paravertebral muscles and strengthening the abdominals. Other important recommendations are: sleeping with a pillow between the knees lying on the side, avoid activities that place additional strain on the lumbar spine (example: weight lifting).The surgical treatment may be considered if there is progressive neurological symptoms (numbness, tingling, loss of muscular strength in the legs), imaging studies show remarkable compression of nerves, and/or intractable pain. The goals of surgery are to relieve pain and decompress the nerves, as well as, in select cases, to achieve stabilization.

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