a chronic degenerative disease of man affecting the small spinal joints. Spondylarthrosis generally develops in the lumbar or cervical segments of the spine, often simultaneously with spondylosis.
The development of spondylarthrosis is preceded by injuries or chronic microtraumas to the spine, by spinal strain, and by metabolic disorders, especially in the elderly. Changes first appear in articular cartilage, which loses its elasticity. The disease then spreads to the articular capsule and periarthric parts of the bone, resulting in the formation of bony spinous processes. Spondylarthrosis is manifested by pain in the spine and limited mobility in the affected spinal parts. Roentgenologic examination is important in diagnosing spondylarthrosis. The disease may be prevented by strengthening spinal muscles and by eliminating the strain on the spine produced, for example, by lifting heavy objects. Treatment includes physical therapy, sanatorium-health resort treatment, dietetic treatment, the use of B complex vitamins, and injections of vitreous body. Corsets and various types of traction provide temporary relief for the spine.