Common Spine Conditions That You Need to Be Aware Of

Posted March 22, 2022 by in Health + Fitness

Did you know that one in three adults will experience a spine condition at some point in their lives? Many people are not aware of the different types of spine disorders that exist, or the symptoms that can indicate one is suffering from a spine disorder. In this blog post, we will discuss the most common spine conditions and what you need to be aware of if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.

What Are Spine Disorders

Disorders of the spine are common. In fact, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, over 80 percent of adults will experience low back pain at some point in their lives. And while many spine disorders can cause pain, not all do. Some are asymptomatic, meaning they don’t have any symptoms.

Here are some of the most common spinal conditions and injuries:

Woman with pink sports bra and black leggings on stretching back

Slipped Disk

Slipped Disk is a common spine condition that can cause pain in the back and sciatica. The disk is a cushion between the vertebrae in your spine. It can bulge or rupture, which can cause pain. Treatment may include physical therapy, medication, or spine surgery. Surgery is often necessary to remove the ruptured disk fragment that is pressing on the spinal cord or nerves.

Cervical Spondylosis

Cervical spondylosis is a type of osteoarthritis. It develops in the joints and discs of your neck as you age. The condition is also known as cervical osteoarthritis or neck arthritis. Many people develop cervical spondylosis without any symptoms. However, it can lead to pain and stiffness in your neck. The condition can also cause nerve compression. This can lead to pain, tingling, numbness, or weakness in your arms and legs. 

Cervical spondylosis is a common condition. It affects more than 85 percent of people over the age of 60. The condition is more common in men than women and there are several things you can do to help manage cervical spondylosis. These include:

  • Taking over-the-counter pain medication.
  • Exercising regularly
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Wearing a neck brace if you have pain or stiffness in your neck
  • Undergoing physical therapy
  • Having surgery to fuse the bones in your neck (if other treatments don’t work)

If you think you may have cervical spondylosis, it’s important to see your doctor or medical professional. They can diagnose the condition and develop a treatment plan that’s right for you. Cervical spondylosis is a manageable condition. If you get the treatment you can live a full and active life without any problems.

Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis is a condition that affects the spine, it occurs when the spinal canal, which runs down the middle of the spine, becomes narrower. This can put pressure on the spinal cord and nerves, causing pain, numbness, and tingling in the arms and legs. Spinal stenosis can be caused by aging, arthritis, or other conditions that cause the spine to narrow. 

Treatment for spinal stenosis may include physical therapy, medications, surgery, or a combination of these. If you have symptoms of spinal stenosis, talk to your doctor to find out if this condition is causing your pain and discomfort.

Sciatica

Sciatica is a condition that affects the sciatic nerve, which is the largest nerve in the body, starts in the lower back, and runs down the back of each leg. Sciatica can cause pain, tingling, or numbness in one or both legs. The pain may be severe enough to make it difficult to walk or stand. Sciatica is a common condition, and it can occur for many different reasons. Some of the most common causes of sciatica include but are not limited to:

  • Herniated discs
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Piriformis syndrome
  • Sacroiliac joint dysfunction
  • Lumbar spinal nerve compression

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to see a spine specialist to get an accurate diagnosis. Once the underlying cause of your sciatica is determined, your doctor can develop a treatment plan that is best for you. In some cases, sciatica may go away on its own. However, most cases of sciatica require some type of treatment.

Scoliosis

Scoliosis is a condition that affects the spine and can cause it to curve to the side. The cause of scoliosis is unknown, but it is more common in girls. Scoliosis can be mild or severe, and it can get worse over time. If you have scoliosis, you may need to see a specialist get treatment. 

If you think you have scoliosis, see your doctor for diagnosis and treatment. early diagnosis and treatment is the best way to prevent the condition from getting worse. If left untreated, scoliosis can cause pain and other health problems. So, if you think you might have scoliosis, don’t wait to get it checked out.

Ankylosing Spondylitis

Ankylosing spondylitis is a type of arthritis that affects the spine, it can cause pain and stiffness in the lower back, hips, and buttocks. The condition can also lead to a gradual curve of the spine known as kyphosis. In some cases, ankylosing spondylitis can cause fusion of the spine bones, which can limit movement. Treatment for ankylosing spondylitis includes medications and physical therapy. Some people may need surgery to correct problems caused by the condition.

Tumors

Tumors are growths that can form on the spine. While most tumors are benign (non-cancerous), some tumors can be cancerous. If you experience any new or unusual symptoms, such as pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness, it is important to consult with your doctor right away. Early diagnosis and treatment is key in preventing any serious complications.

If you are diagnosed with a tumor, your doctor will likely recommend treatment options such as surgery, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy. It is important to discuss all of your treatment options with your doctor and decide on the best course of action for you.

Spinal Chord Injuries

There are several different types of spinal cord injuries, each with its own unique set of symptoms. The most common type of spinal cord injury is a compression injury, which occurs when something crushes or compresses the spine. This can be caused by a car accident, a fall, or any other type of traumatic event.  Other common types of spinal cord injuries include:

  • Incomplete spinal cord injuries: These injuries occur when the spinal cord is damaged but some function remains. Patients with incomplete spinal cord injuries may be able to move their arms or legs, but they may not be able to feel anything below the injury site.
  • Complete spinal cord injuries: These injuries occur when the spinal cord is completely severed, resulting in paralysis from the injury site down.
Woman experiencing back pain

If you have any type of spinal condition, it is important to see a spine specialist for diagnosis and treatment. Early intervention is key in preventing serious complications. There are many different types of treatments available, so be sure to discuss all of your options with your doctor. With the right treatment plan, you can manage your condition and improve your quality of life.