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What are the most common spine problems and their treatment?

The spine is known to be the central support structure of the body. It helps to keep the body of the human being upright and helps to connect the different parts of the skeleton to each other, i.e., our head, shoulders, chest, arms, and legs. The spine is a chain of bones, and it is flexible because of the spinal disks and elastic ligaments. The normal spine is of “S” shape, similar to a curve that helps to withstand different stress levels. There are several discs in the spine, and they are all shock-absorber. The spine gives the body a proper shape, and it also protects the spinal cord.

Common problems of the spine

You may face many problems because of the flexibility of the spine at the shoulder and at the waist area. Here is the list of the different types of issues along with the cause and the treatment:

1. Degenerative Disc Disease

This issue is an age-related condition and can usually happen when the fluid between one or more than one discs dries up. You may experience low to severe pain because of the degeneration of the fluid. There may be numbness, weakness, and pain that flows down the leg. Despite the name, it is not considered as a disease but just a natural occurrence that can be seen due to aging.

Degenerative Disc Disease Treatment

There are several treatments of Degenerative Disc Disease. But it mainly depends upon the nature of the pain. You may be advised to opt for physiotherapy or do proper exercise to get off this issue. 98% of the people are suggested with this solution. But there are 2% who need surgery as they are unable to find the perfect solution to this issue with injection, medication, losing weight, exercise, or physiotherapy.

2. Slipped Disc

A slipped disc happens when the soft cushion of tissue that is located between your spine pushes out. It causes a lot of pain when it gets pressed on the nerves. The slipped disc continues to get better if you take proper rest, consume painkillers according to the doctors, or with gentle exercise. The pain might get worse if you sneeze, cough, or move in certain positions. The pain caused due to slipped discs is often described as burning or sharp, tingling, or numbness. The type of pain can vary from one person to the other.

Slipped Disc Treatment

80% 0f the people who are having slipped discs are advised to take rest, exercise, opt for physiotherapy or take proper medication according to the doctor’s prescription. But 20% of the people need to go through surgery. The doctors decide on the surgery after three months as it takes some time for the pieces of the disk to get melted, and hence the nerves are also not obstructed. This eventually makes you feel much better.

3. Lumbar Spinal Stenosis

The lower back or the lumbar spine is made up of five vertebrae located at, the lower part of the spine between the pelvis and the ribs. When the narrowing of your spinal cord happens, the nerves travelling from the lower back into the legs also get compressed.

It may cause effects to the younger people because of the development causes but is often a degenerative condition affecting people who are 60 years or older. The symptoms of Lumbar Spinal Stenosis are weakness, pain, and numbness in the calves, legs, or buttocks.

It is mostly seen that you might walk for some time and suddenly feel pain, which forces you to have a seat. After sitting for 2 to three minutes, you will walk for such a duration only. This is known to be Neurogenic Claudication.

Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Treatment

The treatment of this issue depends upon the patient’s inability to walk and upon the reports of the MRI. In case the reports of MRI show that the nature of the compression is low to medium, then the treatment can be proper exercise, physiotherapy, and medication. But if the compression is severe, then doctors will perform surgery on you. Surgery can be of the simple type, which will be done from 180 degrees back and open the obstruction of the nerve. This surgery is known as Lumbar Laminectomy. This makes it easy for you to walk and reduces uneasiness.

4. Spondylolisthesis

Spondylolisthesis happens when one piece of the spinal cord or the vertebrae slips out of the alignment and onto the bone located below. This causes the lower vertebrae to slip forward onto the bone directly under it. It is a much painful condition and is mostly seen among women.

They feel uneasy and experience a lot of pain, mostly while standing in the kitchen while cooking. Both surgical, as well as therapeutic methods, can be used to treat this condition. The symptoms of this issue may vary from one person to the other.

Some common symptoms are lower back tenderness, persistent lower back pain, lower back tenderness, thigh pain, hamstring pain. Both surgical and therapeutic methods are used to treat this issue. Doctors also suggest proper exercise to get rid of this issue.

Spondylolisthesis Treatment

The treatment of this problem depends mainly on the severity of the pain and slippage of the vertebra. There are also non-surgical procedures that doctors can use to ease your pain and encourage the slippage bone to return to its place. Some common non-surgical procedures are using the epidural steroid injection, wearing a back brace, consuming prescribed drugs, and doing gentle exercises.

However, if the problem is severe, then doctors will go for surgery known as spinal fusion. Doctors will be working to stabilize the spine by using metal rods and bone graft. They may also make use of an internal brace to support the vertebrae while it keeps on healing.

Why are spine surgery safe nowadays?

With the advent of technology and advanced treatments, spine surgery has become much easier nowadays. Earlier there are lots of people who used to think that spine surgeries are dangerous, as, in those days, doctors used to perform open surgery or painful surgeries.

They also used to think that due to spine surgery, they will not be able to walk for three months, cannot do regular activities, or reduce the power of the legs. But these days there is immense advancement of technologies. Due to this, surgeries have become extremely safe and easy. Let us read about the technologies that are advantageous to the patients:

  • Minimally invasive spine surgery

This method allows for smaller incisions which results in huge advantages. It causes less pain, less blood loss, use of fewer pain killers, quick discharge, and you may start walking quickly. It also has fewer chances of infection.

  • Navigation in spine surgery

This is a much safer method and is invented by the advent of technology. It is safe and directs the doctors to the exact direction,

  • Neuromonitoring

During the operation, there is continuous monitoring of the anesthesia of the patient. It helps the doctors to know whether the anesthesia is reducing its effect or not. It warns the doctor to continue the invasive procedures accordingly not to feel the pain.

Additional technologies

  • State of the art MRI machines
  • Neuro Spinal surgeon
  • Neurophysiologist
  • Expert team of surgeons
  • Radiologist
  • Post-surgery physiotherapy
  • A specialized physiotherapist who helps a lot in the recovery of the patients after surgery

This is advice from the expert to visit the specialized doctors once you have encountered any spine issue. It is always preferable to start the treatment from the beginning without wasting much time to recover by medicines and physiotherapy. It is always suggested by experts that if you can avoid surgery, then nothing like it. Hence, try to contact the doctors and start the treatment once the issue has started.

About Author

Dr-Sachin-Mahajan-Sahyadri-Hospital

Dr. Sachin Mahajan

Spinal and Neurological Surgeon
Contact: 8806252525
Email – ask@sahyadrihospitals.com

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