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Common Spine Problems and Their Treatment Options

02Apr

Common Spine Problems and Their Treatment Options

Are you able to stand or sit upright? Thank your spine, a stack of vertebrae along with cushioning cartilage and large muscles that allow you to stand upright, bend forward and backward and twist from side to side. When viewed from the side, spine has an “S” shaped curve. Running through the center is the spinal cord, protected by the spine. Since spine is centrally connected to all other body parts, any problem with it can lead to a variety of symptoms and impact the person’s ability to function to a large extent. While spine surgery treatment might be required in a few cases, others problems can be mild and treated easily.  Here are some of the common spine problems and the treatment options associated with each:

Slipped Disk

There’s a cushion-like disk sitting between each of your vertebrae that protect them from scraping against each other. With aging, the disk begins to dry out. You might tear of break a disk if you apply too much pressure on your back. The condition is known as herniated disk. Under the condition, your legs or arms might hurt or feel numb or tingly. Mostly, painkillers and exercise helps but if they don’t, a surgery might be required.

Osteoarthritis

There are slippery tissues on each end of the vertebrae that assists your back to flex without friction. If this cartilage wears down or gets rough, the vertebrae begin to rub against each other which can make your back stiff or painful. As compared to men, women are more likely to have osteoarthritis in their backs which tends to worsen with time. Although there’s no way to reverse it, exercise, painkillers and therapy can help ease the symptoms.

Spinal Stenosis

Your spine has multiple spaces housing the spinal cord and the numerous nerves that branch out from it. When these spaces narrow down, bones can easily press against nerves.  When these nerves are compromised, it can lead to tingling, numbness, pain or muscle weakness. One of the main causes of spinal stenosis is osteoarthritis. In severe cases, a surgeon’s help is required to make more room for the nerves.

Sciatica

If you experience pain that shoots down from your lower back, towards your bottom and into your leg, your sciatic nerve might be the culprit. Bone spur, herniated disk or some other spine problem might be responsible for the increased pressure. The condition is known as sciatica and it usually affects only one side of your body.  Stretching, cold packs, hot packs and painkillers can help but you will need a doctor’s assistance to fix the cause.

No matter the treatment, whether it’s lower spine surgery or any other, you must always consult a good doctor and take necessary measures to heal.