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6 Common Spine Issues Plaguing the World

Common Spine Issues

Are you experiencing a pain in your back that you can't identify?

You may be one of the millions of Americans plagued with spinal problems. One-half of U.S. citizens report having symptoms of back pain every year. Wouldn't it be nice if you had some educated information to share with your doctor?

Read this post to the end and discover the most common spinal cord problems, risk factors, symptoms, and treatments.

1. Osteoporosis

You may have more familiarity with this condition as "fragile bone disease." When your bone density weakens, there's a high risk of painful fractures. You can apply this to any bone, but the most common site for a fracture include the hips and spine.

Risk Factors for Osteoporosis

You are at more risk for this bone disease if one of the following applies to you:

  • Female
  • History of eating disorders
  • Middle-aged or later
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Gastrointestinal problems

Symptoms of Osteoporosis

If you believe that you're at risk, set an appointment with your doctor to discuss a plan.

If you have osteoporosis, you may experience the following:

  • Loss of height
  • Stooped or lowered posture
  • Bones break easily
  • Back pain caused by collapsed or fractured vertebra

Treatment for Osteoporosis

Based on the results of a DXA scan, your doctor may prescribe medication. The most common ways to treatments include:

  • Lifestyle changes
  • Calcium supplement
  • Vitamin D supplement
  • Weight-bearing exercise

2. Disc Herniation

Vertebrae are the bones that stack on your spine, and the discs cushion the space between them. A herniated disc means that one of those discs has shifted and caused it to crack or break open.

Risk Factors for Disc Herniation

You want to consider these risk factors if you're concerned about experiencing spinal disc problems:

  • Poor diet
  • Tobacco use
  • Poor posture
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Any history of spine trauma
  • Incorrect lifting or twisting that stresses the spine
  • Older age means your discs can dry out and lose their strength

Symptoms of Disc Herniation

If you're experiencing a herniated disc, expect the following symptoms:

  • Tingling or numbness in your shoulder or arm
  • Sharp or dull pain in the shoulder blades or neck
  • Pain spreading down your arm, hands, or fingers (radiculopathy)

Treatment for Disc Herniation

Assuming that your herniated disc doesn't require surgery, the most common treatments include:

  • Spinal injections
  • Physical therapy
  • Cold and heat therapy
  • Chiropractic treatment

3. Adult Degenerative Scoliosis

You may associate scoliosis with adolescence, but this disease occurs in adults also. If you have adult degenerative scoliosis, you are over eighteen with abnormal curvature in your spine. Your doctor may want to take digital Xrays to confirm your diagnosis.

Risk Factors for Scoliosis

The most common risk factors for adult degenerative scoliosis include:

  • Age - most symptoms start during a growth spurt after puberty
  • Boys develop scoliosis at the same rate as girls, but the latter have a higher risk of curvature of the spine
  • Scoliosis can run in families, but most people who receive a diagnosis did not have a family history of the disease

Symptoms of Scoliosis

The most common symptoms include the following:

  • Osteoporosis
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Degenerative discs
  • Spinal stiffness or rigidity
  • Vertebral compression fractures

Treatment for Scoliosis

Surgery may be necessary to repair scoliosis, but the most common treatments for spinal problems in adults include:

  • Back bracing
  • Back exercises
  • Applying moist heat
  • Anti-inflammatory or pain medication

4. Neck Sprain or Strain (Whiplash)

Neck sprain or string occurs due to a hyperflexion or hyperextension injury. The pain from whiplash can cause severe or disabling symptoms.

Risk Factors for Whiplash

Most people experience spine pain from whiplash as the result of an accident, but risk factors do include the following:

  • Your risk for whiplash increases with age
  • Prior injuries to the neck or spine put you at a higher risk
  • Women are two times more likely to experience whiplash during an accident

Symptoms of Whiplash

The most common symptoms for whiplash include:

  • Swelling
  • Dull, sharp, throbbing, or burning pain
  • Pain that ranks anywhere from mild to severe
  • Stiffness or difficulty moving upper body or neck

Treatment for Whiplash

The most common treatment options for neck sprain or strain include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Cold and heat therapy
  • Chiropractic treatment
  • A cervical collar or brace
  • Anti-inflammatory medication

5. Compression Fracture

A compression fracture in the spine means part of your vertebrae collapsed. When you have weak bones, a simple slip and fall can lead to catastrophic injuries.

Risk Factors for Compression Fracture

The most common risk factors for a compression fracture in adults include:

  • Osteoporosis
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Alcohol or tobacco use

Symptoms of Compression Fracture

Beyond the pain, look for these symptoms of a compression fracture:

  • Loss of height
  • Loss of balance
  • Humpback (kyphosis)
  • Numbness, tingling, or weakness

Treatment for a Compression Fracture

The most common treatments options for a compression fracture include:

  • Back bracing
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Calcium supplement
  • Vitamin D supplement
  • Over-the-counter pain medication

6. Degenerative Spondylolisthesis

Degenerative spondylolisthesis occurs when a vertebra slips over the vertebra below. Most patients experience this condition in the lower back, somewhere between L4 to L5.

Risk Factors for Degenerative Spondylolisthesis

The most common risk factors for degenerative spondylolisthesis include:

  • Older age
  • Females develop this disease more than men
  • People of African American descent have a higher risk
  • Athletes who take part in sports that overextend the lumbar spine

Symptoms of Degenerative Spondylolisthesis

Patients may not discover symptoms of degenerative spondylolisthesis until their doctor finds a problem. You want to look for:

  • Sciatica
  • Leg weakness
  • Muscle spasms
  • Lower back pain
  • Odd walk or limping

Treatment for Degenerative Spondylolisthesis

The most common treatments options for degenerative spondylolisthesis include:

  • Bed rest
  • Back bracing
  • Muscle relaxers
  • Physical therapy
  • Steroid injections

What Can You Do About Spinal Problems?

Did you recognize one of these spinal problems from recent experience? Call your doctor's office and set up an appointment. You don't want to wait for spine conditions to get worse before you schedule an exam.

Did you find this post useful? Come back for more great articles like this one tomorrow!

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