The spine is an integral part of the body that keeps us upright, but many conditions may affect this delicate structure. The most common spine disease is back pain, caused by misalignment of the spine, muscle strain, and injury. In most cases, spine conditions cause pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness. Although some spine conditions are caused by problems elsewhere in the body, neck pain can be caused by arthritis in the cervical (neck) spine. Others may develop with either no known cause or because of an injury. When you notice any symptoms, your first move should be seeing a specialist. Dr. Kamal Woods in Dayton, a specialist in the spine, can offer an accurate diagnosis based on your symptoms and recommend an ideal treatment. In this article, we look at some of the most common spine conditions. Read on for more.
- Degenerative Disk Disease
This is one of the most common spine conditions that lead to back pain. Its leading cause is aging, specifically wear and tear on the joints in the spine over time. Degenerative disk disease can be easy to treat because it doesn’t damage bones or nerves, but age factors like obesity, lack of exercise, a poor diet, and smoking can cause this condition.
Degenerative disk disease occurs when the soft center of a spinal disc begins to wear thin or when it herniates and squeezes into another part of the spine.
Spondylolisthesis is a condition that causes one vertebra to slide forward over another due to the weakness of the bones. This condition is common in children and teenagers, but after puberty, it’s scarce, especially in adults. Sometimes spondylolisthesis can occur as a congenital disability or because of a tumor, but more often, it’s caused by a combination of daily activities like weightlifting and bad posture. When the condition causes problems with walking or moving, your doctor will offer to prescribe exercises that strengthen the muscles around the spine.
A condition that causes damage to the spinal cord, myelopathy affects your body’s ability to control or feel movement. Depending on how severe or widespread the damage is, people diagnosed with myelopathy will experience stiff limbs, limb weakness, numbness in hands and feet, bowel and bladder problems, breathing problems, visual disturbances like double vision, and dizziness. The leading cause of myelopathy is a tumor in the spine, but this condition can also be caused by an infection like syphilis, steroids, or diabetes.
A condition that causes the spine to become abnormally curved, kyphosis, can be found in men and women. Usually, this condition occurs because of osteoporosis, which weakens the bones over time. As people age, bone mass decreases due to weaker cartilage between joints. Although this process slows down after puberty, people who have osteoporosis start to lose bone mass faster. Thanks to advancements in modern medicine and treatments, people suffering from kyphosis can live happy and productive lives.
In summary, the spine is an integral part of the body that keeps us standing upright, but many conditions may affect this delicate structure. Some of the most common spine disorders include kyphosis, degenerative disk disease, myelopathy, and spondylolisthesis.