This condition is a degeneration of the spine that can affect the spine at any level, resulting in pain and discomfort that can grow worse over time. The most common cause is from normal wear and tear associated with aging. As the body gets older, the spinal discs begin to dry out, lose their elasticity and collapse. The thinning of the discs places stress on the facet joints and the ligaments that hold the vertebrae together. These structures weaken, allowing the vertebrae to become overly mobile.
Pain from spondylosis is caused when the vertebrae shifts out of proper alignment and rub against each other. Bony growths called bone spurs may also form on the irritated vertebrae. The vertebral shifting and the excess bone growth can reduce the space through which the nerve roots travel, and the nerve roots or the spinal cord can become painfully compressed.