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What Is Spondylosis and How Is it Caused?

Spondylosis is a type of spinal cord degeneration. Degeneration is a breakdown of matter such as bones and spinal fluids. In the back and neck, degeneration can cause back problems, including chronic pain and immobility. Spondylosis can compromise the movement and function of the spine by damaging its disks and joints. Trauma to the spine during an accident such as a car crash could worsen the symptoms of naturally occurring spondylosis, giving the victim the right to file a claim for this type of injury.

What are the Symptoms of Spondylosis?

Spondylosis, also called spondylolisthesis, can refer to issues such as spinal disc degeneration, bone spurs and osteoarthritis. Adverse changes in the spine due to natural or trauma-related degeneration can be significantly painful for the person and limit mobility. Spondylosis can occur in any part of the spine, but it is most common in the bottom (lumbar) and top (cervical) of the spinal cord. Symptoms of spondylosis can vary from person to person. Some may not experience symptoms at all.

  • Back or neck pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Shooting pain in the limbs
  • Tingling and weakness
  • Muscle spasms
  • Headache
  • Inflammation
  • Chronic back pain
  • Disc herniation
  • Trouble walking or sitting for long periods

Spondylosis in the thoracic spine often goes unnoticed by the patient since it does not have symptoms. Spondylosis in other places, however, can lead to uncomfortable or painful changes that impact multiple vertebrae. Extreme cases could cause symptoms such as incontinence and loss of bowel control. Complications connected to spondylosis can include scoliosis, spinal stenosis, pinched nerves and spinal cord compression.

What Causes Spondylosis?

Spondylosis generally arises from natural causes, but trauma or injuries to the spine could exacerbate symptoms. Supporting the body’s weight over time can lead to conditions that can qualify as spondylosis, including painful disk degeneration. By age 40, many people have spondylosis with or without symptoms from the natural drying out of the jelly-like spinal disks. Yet injuries to the spine can increase the risk of spondylosis or make symptoms more noticeable. Traumatic accidents affecting the spine could worsen spondylosis.

  • Car accidents
  • Rear-end collisions
  • Falls
  • Diving or sports accidents
  • Gunshots
  • Stab wounds

An injury that compromises the spine could increase the odds of an issue such as disk herniation, a slipped disk, a compressed spine or a neck injury – all problems that could worsen the symptoms of spondylosis. Someone with an occupation that requires a lot of lifting, bending or repetitive neck motions is also at a higher risk of spondylosis, as are people over the age of 40, those who smoke and those with genetic predispositions to neck and back problems.

Could I Take Legal Action?

If a car crash or another accident contributed to a victim suddenly feeling the symptoms of spondylosis, that person may have an injury claim against the at-fault party. Spondylosis and traumatic injuries can be a serious combination that causes permanent back pain and disabilities. The victim should not have to pay for medical treatments, rehabilitation therapies or occupational changes if someone else caused the symptoms to arise. The at-fault driver or another party could be liable for the damages connected to the victim’s back or neck problems.

  • Lifelong medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Physical pain
  • Lost quality of life

Although an accident will not necessarily cause spondylosis, it could turn this asymptomatic condition into one that imposes significant pain and suffering on the victim. An accident could turn dormant and unnoticeable spondylosis into a life-altering condition. Preexisting spondylosis does not bar a claimant from recovering damages. If the accident worsened the condition, the at-fault party could be liable for damages. Someone with spondylosis symptoms because of an accident could be eligible for financial compensation in Utah with help of a personal injury attorney.

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