The spine is one of the most important parts of the human body. It is the reason why we can stand upright and move about. It also encompasses the spinal cord, which transmits signals between the brain and other parts of the body.
If your spine isn’t healthy, it can impact your ability to perform simple actions like standing up or walking around. Having an unhealthy spine can also cause a great deal of pain, as there are so many nerves contained within this region of the body.
Unfortunately, there are many diseases and injuries which can affect the spine. The spine can also be easily damaged by unhealthy lifestyle habits like excessive sitting or poor posture. In this post, our Ealing chiropractor, at the Spine & Joint Centre, covers the most common spine dysfunctions.
Degenerative Spine Conditions
These conditions cause the health of the spine to deteriorate over time, often resulting in back or neck pain. Many of the patients visiting our chiropractor in Ealing have degenerative conditions and are seeking out chiropractic care to obtain pain relief.
Degenerative Disc Disease
The spine’s vertebrae are separated by tough gelatinous discs, called spinal discs. They provide shock absorption and prevent the vertebrae bones from rubbing against one another. Degenerative disc disease causes the discs to lose their elasticity and shock absorbing characteristics. It is one of the leading causes of lower back pain.
Spinal stenosis is caused when the spinal column narrows, placing pressure on the spinal cord and the nerves that travel through it. It often occurs in people with herniated discs, tumours, spinal injuries or overgrown bones. Symptoms include poor balance, pain, tingling, muscle weakness and numbness.
Herniated Discs (Slipped Disc)
This condition occurs when a spinal disc has ruptured. The disc becomes inflamed which can compress several nerves, resulting in pain.
Radiculopathy refers to a set of conditions where a nerve is pinched. Common symptoms include radicular pain, numbness and muscle weakness. It includes conditions like Sciatica (pinched sciatic nerve), Cervical radiculopathy (pinched or irritated nerve in the neck, and Thoracic radiculopathy (disease of the root of a nerve in the thoracic section of the spine). Sciatica is the most common of these conditions and a common reason for visits to our chiropractor in Ealing.
Sacroiliac (SI) Joint Dysfunction
Sacroiliac Joints are located where the lower spine and pelvis intersect. If the cartilage in the SI joint wears down or the joint becomes inflamed, it can cause lower back pain.
This condition occurs when one of the vertebrae slips forward onto the vertebrae below it. If the vertebrae falls too far, it can place pressure on a nerve, causing pain and numbness. The most common cause of spondylolisthesis is a collision injury or accident. However, genetics can increase the risk of spondylolisthesis occurring.
Adult Onset Scoliosis
Degenerative scoliosis causes a side-to-side curvature of the spine. It occurs when the facet joints and intervertebral discs have degenerated and can no longer hold the spine in its natural position.
This is a common form of arthritis that affects the vertebrae joints. it makes the protective cushioning between the facet joints break down over time. This leads to the bones of the facet joints rubbing together, which causes pain.
Infectious Spine Conditions
Some conditions are triggered by an infection in the spine. They include:
An inflammation of the brain and spinal cord membranes. It is usually caused by a viral infection but can also be triggered by bacteria or fungi.
Vertebral osteomyelitis is a bone infection caused by bacteria. It is a rare condition that mostly affects children and the elderly.
Discitis is an inflammation that occurs between the intervertebral discs of the spine. It causes painful swelling that places pressure on the discs.
Traumatic Spine Conditions
These conditions occur as a result of a traumatic injury sustained like collision injuries, falling, being in a car crash and so on. They include bone fractures, dislocations, torn ligaments, torn muscles and sprains.
Severe injuries can compress the spine and cause fracture that cause spinal deformities. The treatment for traumatic spine conditions will vary based on the nature of the injury and can range from surgery to physical therapy.
Spinal Deformity Conditions
These conditions occur when there is an unnatural curve in the spine. They are often congenital and non-progressive. They include:
A side-to-side curvature of the spine.
A forward rounding of the back that is common in patients with osteoporosis.
A significant inward curve in the lower back.
These conditions usually require medical intervention including bracing, physical therapy and surgery.
Neoplastic Spine Conditions
These conditions occur when tumours grow in the spinal region. The tumours (cancerous of benign) will compress the spinal cord or nerves, leading to a range of symptoms including neurological problems, pain, mobility problems and so on. Severe cases can cause paralysis. Treatment options include spinal surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
If you are suffering back pain or discomfort our experienced Ealing chiropractor is here to help you. You can contact our chiropractic clinic by calling 020 8900 9004 to book an appointment.