Spondylosis is the term used to describe the degeneration (deterioration, decline) of the spinal vertebrae together with pain in the area affected. Causes might be overuse, age, but the term also includes the effects of, for example, osteoarthritis. There might also be a spinal stenosis present, which describes the narrowing of the bony openings within the spine, potentially compressing a nerve or the spinal cord, causing numbness, tingling, weakness or even pain.
In Chinese medicine, degeneration is always a deficiency. Deficiency within the body allows Chinese medicine pathogens to settle in specific areas of the body (in this case, the spine) and to impede the free movement of Qi (energy) and Blood. Avid readers to my blog will already have learned that any blockage of Qi and/ or Blood will always cause pain. Dull pain in the case of Qi blockage, and sharp, knife-like pain in the case of Blood blockage.
The treatment principle will be to tonify the dominating deficiency, be it Qi or Yang (sometimes Yin) and removing the existing pathogen, thus allowing an unimpeded flow of Qi and Blood. A combination of acupuncture and herbs is recommended in order to address the different aspects of this pattern.