Common spine problems that can affect you
The human spine or backbone starts from the base of the skull and ends at the pelvis. It works as a pillar to help support the body weight besides protecting the spinal cord. Here are some of the most common spine problems that you may encounter.
There is a cushion known as disk at the end of each vertebrae and this makes sure that they do not scrape against each other. Each disk comprises of two parts: a soft, gelatinous inner portion and a tough outer ring. Injury, weakness or age can cause the disk to tear or break. This is called a slipped, herniated, or prolapsed disk.
This is a condition caused by a gradual breakdown in the neck that results due to age. You could end up with a slipped disc here or you may get an extra bone growing in a bid to build up strength. The ligaments here may start getting stiff and tight and the neck may hurt.
This is caused by joint damage and usually this happens due to the wearing down of cartilage due to age. Cartilage is essentially a tough, rubbery substance that’s flexible and provides protection from friction between bones. Once this breaks down, the bones lose the cushioning and when they rub against each other, there is pain.
Spinal stenosis and sciatica
The spine has a designated amount of space for the spinal cord and nerves. When this shrinks, the bones press against the nerves causing pain. The symptoms are pain, numbness, tingling and even feeling weak. If there is pain that shoots down from the lower back through the bottom and down to the leg, this could be due to the sciatic nerve and is known as sciatica.
Spinal cord injury
This is usually due to accidents like a fall, a car crash, a sports mishap. When the spinal cord is injured, part of its blood supply gets cut off. This is quite dangerous as this prevents your brain from controlling certain portions of your body.
Broken neck or back
When a bone breaks in one of the top seven vertebrae, just below your skull, it’s called a broken neck but farther down, this is a broken back.