A type of inflammation that affects the joints and disc in the cervical spine region is termed as Cervical Spondylitis. Similarly, a type of inflammation affecting the joints and disc in the lumbar region of the spine is termed as Lumbar Spondylitis. They can be called as a type of inflammatory arthritis in the cervical and lumbar region respectively.
About Human Vertebrae
The human vertebral column is made of 33 bones or the 33 vertebrae. There are five spine regions in the human vertebrae. They are the cervical spine, thoracic spine, lumbar spine, sacrum, and the coccyx. All together form an arch-like structure to give the form and shape of the human vertebral column. The upper 7 vertebrae are called cervical spine and the lower 5 vertebrae are called a lumbar spine.
Cervical and Lumbar Spondylosis
Any type of age-related wear and tear affecting the cervical and lumbar spines is termed as Cervical and Lumbar Spondylosis respectively. It is said that more than 80% of people who are more than 60 years old are affected by cervical spondylosis.
The major difference between Spondylitis and Spondylosis are
- While Spondylitis is primarily the inflammation in the spine, Spondylosis is because of wear and tear experienced by the spine.
- Spondylitis is not essentially tagged to age while Spondylosis is solely because of aging.
Symptoms of Cervical or Lumbar Spondylosis
- Stiffness and pain in the neck in case of cervical spondylosis and stiffness and pain in the lower back in case of lumbar spondylosis.
- Cervical spondylosis can sometimes cause narrowing of space where the spinal cord and the nerve roots are passing. In such cases, if the spinal cord or nerve root happens to be impacted by the cervical vertebrae that are worn and torn, they might cause numbness and weakness in the arms, hands, or legs, and difficulty in walking.
As we age what factors cause Cervical or Lumbar Spondylosis
- Dehydrated disks – The vertebrae have a cushion-like structure in between themselves. These cushion-like structures become dry as we age and can cause Spondylosis.
- Bone Spurs – When the vertebrae degenerate due to age the body begins depositing bone elements in the degenerated spot. These bone spurs may be irregular in shape and can end up impacting the spinal cord and nerve roots.
- Vertebral Ligaments becoming stiff – The ligaments present between two vertebrae give the flexibility to the spine. As we age, this ligament can also undergo wear and tear to become stiffened.