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What Are the Causes of Lumbar Spondylosis?

By Rae Uddin ; Updated August 14, 2017

The lumbar region of the spine is composed of five small vertebrae, or bones, that run vertically along the lower back. Lumbar spondylosis is a degenerative spine condition that is also referred to as spinal osteoarthritis. People over the age of 40 are at the highest risk of developing symptoms of lumbar spondylosis, such as morning back stiffness or pain, explain health professionals with SpineUniverse. Concerns or questions regarding the causes of lumbar spondylosis should be discussed with a medical professional.

Natural Aging

One of the most common causes of lumbar spondylosis is natural aging, according to SpineUniverse health professionals. As the human body ages, the discs that sit between the spinal vertebrae slowly degrade. Spinal disc and cartilage deterioration decreases the amount of space present between each vertebra. Consequently, the vertebrae within the lumbar region of the back can wear away, exposing the roots of the nerves that run along the spinal column. Nerve exposure can lead to nerve inflammation, which can cause lumbar spondylosis symptoms, such as back pain.

Genetic Abnormalities

Certain people can develop lumbar spondylosis due to inherited genetic characteristics, explain medical experts with the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. These genetic abnormalities may cause certain people to develop unusually thin vertebrae that are more susceptible to spondylosis.

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Lifestyle Choices

Particular lifestyle choices, such as smoking cigarettes, can increase a person's risk of developing lumbar spondylosis. Smoking cigarettes can negatively affect the amount of water within the vertebral discs, explain SpineUniverse health professionals. Inadequate water levels within the vertebral discs can increase the rate at which these discs deteriorate, which can lead to lumbar spondylosis.

Injury or Overuse

Lumbar spine injury can cause spondylosis in certain people, explain health professionals with the Chicago Institute of Neurosurgery and Neuroresearch. An injury to the spinal cord can force vertebral discs out of place. When this occurs, affected people are at an increased risk of developing lumbar spondylosis. Additionally, frequent overuse of the back during physical activities, such as gymnastics or football, can increase the amount of stress placed on the lumbar vertebrae, report AAOS medical experts. This excess strain can result in vertebral injury, such as fracture or disc slippage, which causes lumbar spondylosis.

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