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There is no cure for the degenerative changes in the spine due to lumbar spondylosis. However, the vast majority of people with lumbar spondylosis do not have symptoms or complications and do not need treatment. When symptoms are present, early diagnosis and treatment will help to minimize discomfort and risks of complications. The most successful treatment plans usually use a multipronged approach, including rest, physical therapy, exercise, medications, and in some cases surgery. In many cases treatment of lumbar spondylosis with symptoms can be successful without the need for surgery. Physical therapy includes range-of-motion exercises and other exercises that help to strengthen muscles of the back, minimize stiffness, and maintain or increase back flexibility. Exercises also focus on tightening the core abdominal muscles. Strong abdominal muscles are important to supporting the spine. Physical therapy may also include heat therapy and electrical stimulation to help relieve pain. A variety of lumbar orthopedic devices may also be recommended to support the lower back, especially while bending, lifting or sitting. Losing weight if needed can reduce the strain on the spine, especially the lumbar spine (lower back). Commonly recommended medications used to treat lumbar spondylosis include acetaminophen, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen (Advil) and aspirin. Muscle relaxers may also be prescribed. These medications are generally used for a short period of time because they can have serious side-effects. Medications should only be taken as directed by a physician. A variety of surgical procedures may be considered in severe cases in which there is compression of a nerve. The goal of surgery is to relieve pressure on the affected nerves.
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