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Common spine problems and ways to deal with them

The spine forms the primary support structure of our body that helps us stay in an upright position. Our spine is a fragile structure that is protected by a vertical arrangement of vertebrae around it known as the vertebral column and various ligaments & muscles, rendering it flexible enough for multiple movements.

Your spine is a part of the central nervous system extending from your neck up to your buttocks. Any abnormality in the spine tends to put pressure on the nerves resulting in back pain. Most of us face spinal issues at least once in our life irrespective of our age.

Most Prevalent Spinal Ailments

There can be various spinal problems that can present themselves in due course of time. These spinal problems can be categorized according to the part of the spine or surrounding structure affected.
● A slipped disc is when the central portion of the disc between the vertebrae bulges out , compressing the nerves. The other vertebrae related conditions include sciatica, cervical & lumbar spondylosis, which are more common with increasing age.
● The abnormal curvature of your spine laterally or outwardly can affect your spine health. Sometimes, there is narrowing of the portion in the vertebrae through which the spine runs exerting pressure on the spine and the nerve roots.
● A general bone disorder like osteoarthritis and osteoporosis may also affect your spine.
● An injury to your spine as a result of direct trauma or a fall is also one of the causes of spinal problems.

Symptoms of Spinal Problems

The most common symptom that will awaken you towards your back issues is pain; it can be neck pain or back pain depending upon the part of your spine involved. Apart from this, you may experience:
● Tingling numbness in the back, arms, or legs.
● Weak arms and legs.
● In some instances, the pain in your back may extend down to your legs or even up to heels.
● Twitching of muscles of hands and legs.
● Difficulty in gripping objects

What can be the complications of spinal problems?

The spine, being an essential structure supporting the skeletal system and being a part of the nervous system can affect almost the entire body. If left untreated or mismanaged, spinal problems can result in serious complications including:
● Ignorance at the early stages may result in permanent distortion of the curvature affecting the gait and normal sitting as well as standing posture.
● A serious trauma with a great impact on the spine may result in extreme conditions such as paralysis and loss of sensation.
● Restricted Movement of the back, arms, and legs.
● Difficulty in the passage of stool and urine or incontinence
● Permanent confinement to bed.
● Irreversible disability or deformities.

How are Spinal Conditions Treated?

At Apollo Hospitals, a comprehensive approach is adopted to treat your spinal troubles. The doctors will begin by examining if you can sit, stand, walk, and lift comfortably. Difficulty in any of these activities is an indicator of a problem.

Furthermore, the advanced diagnostic procedures combined with a detailed medical history help in ascertaining the exact cause of disease, which is further managed under the able guidance of our orthopedic specialists and spinal surgeons.

The initial approach is to treat the presenting symptoms of pain, numbness, and weakness. Pain management is one of the prime components of treatment. Physical therapy and rehabilitation are also required for many patients.

Surgical intervention is opted for only in extreme cases where there is no improvement with the medications and physical therapy.

Precautions of spine problems

Spinal conditions do not develop suddenly except in case of trauma or injury. The changes in the bony structures occur very gradually. So, if you experience any sporadic symptoms, do not ignore them. Medical intervention in the early stage of the disease can help resolve your spinal ailments efficiently.

FAQs of Spinal Problem:

1. What can cause spinal problems?
A sedentary lifestyle with a lack of exercise, lack of mobility, and excess weight also contribute towards the development of spinal issues. In several instances, it is not one but an interplay of several causative and risk factors that lead to the development of a long-standing disease in the body.

2. Who are at risk of getting spinal ailments?
Individuals above the age of 40 years are at a greater risk. Also, people whose lifestyle involves an unhealthy diet and lack of exercise are predisposed towards spinal ailments. Those who do not maintain a good posture while standing and sitting are prone to back issues.

3. Is it true that spinal conditions can never be fully treated?
This is not true. Spinal ailments can be treated effectively with a combination of multiple treatments such as pain medication, muscle relaxants, physical rehabilitation , massage etc
4. How can I avoid spinal issues?
It is essential to maintain optimum body weight and to exercise regularly. While sitting, maintain an upright posture, and make sure to change your position at regular intervals. Abstain from lifting heavy weights and practice muscle strengthening exercises on the advice of your doctor.

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