A Quick Guide to Common Spine Problems (and What to Do About Them!)

Some people may associate back pain as something that occurs as you age. However, the reason for back and spine problems are more complex and common than most people think. In fact, spinal issues are a major reason why millions of people of all ages visit the doctor. 

Spine issues can cause more than back pain if you ignore signs of injury. Whether the problem is short or long-term, it helps to know what type of spine problem you have. Keep reading to learn what common spine problems exist and what you can do to resolve them. 

Spine Problems Related To Acute Injuries

Most kids and adults who suffer from spine-related issues have some form of an acute injury. This could be due to a car accident or sport. Spine issues also occur due to poor body mechanics and lifting heavy objects.

The spine is affected, as well as the surrounding area, which causes back pain. Engaging in any activity can result in acute injury, particularly while playing sports. 

A spinal injury can happen during slip-and-falls, twisting motions, or car accidents. Whiplash is a common injury that occurs in auto crashes, and it can affect the spine in many cases. Spine issues and muscle strain cause pain that can last for several days or a few weeks. 

How To Treat Spine Problems Related To Acute Injury 

The best way to treat acute spine injuries is to implement the RICE method in the first 24 hours. Acute spinal injuries also involve other symptoms such as swelling, fatigue, dizziness, neck or back pain, and stiffness. It helps to rest, apply ice, compress, and elevate the area to reduce swelling. 

After 24 hours, you can start applying heat. Other methods in treatment include physical therapy, massage, and medication.   

Spine Problems Related To Chronic Conditions

Spine disorders can be a chronic or intermittent occurrence that comes and goes. The pain may also exist all the time, but at varying levels for some people.

Those who have scoliosis, kyphosis, or lordosis have an abnormal curvature of the spine. While all can occur at any age, scoliosis affects kids, kyphosis affects older women, and lordosis affects pregnant women the most. 

Treatment depends on the cause and may be postural, developmental, or due to injury. Braces and physical therapy are typical treatment options. Surgery may be required in severe cases. 

Herniated, slipped, bulging, or ruptured disks is often a chronic issue, but may be acute. Osteoporosis, sciatica, degenerative disk disease, and spinal stenosis are also common chronic spinal issues.

How To Treat Spine Problems Related To Chronic Conditions

General treatment often involves medication, physical therapy, rehabilitation, and surgery if deemed necessary. Howell Allen Clinic offers excellent options for those with spine problems. 

When you are reading about chronic spine issues, your diet can also play a strong role in improving symptoms. For example, osteoporosis causes weak bones, which can weaken bones in the spine.

Having a brittle and damaged spine can collapse the vertebrae and hunch your posture. It becomes important to prevent bones from growing weaker by maintaining a healthy diet. You can do this by adding more vitamin D and calcium.

You should also engage in more activities, such as walking, running, yoga, or weightlifting. Any form of movement can make a difference in the strength and alignment of your spine. 

Exercise can improve overall posture, balance, and bone health, which aid in treating chronic spine problems. 

Spine Problems Related To Wear and Tear

Wear and tear of the spine harms the back and causes pain. Wear and tear to the spine may be acute, but it’s often due to chronic issues.

Wear and tear to the area can occur because you are placing too much stress on the spine. You may or may not know it. Wear and tear spinal injuries can happen due to improper sleeping positions or completing repetitive, complex, or strenuous work. 

Other types of spinal wear and tear include compression fractures and spinal myelopathy. Compression fractures may take place as you age and develop weaker bones.

This can result in cracks and fractures within the vertebrae and are extremely painful. Spinal myelopathy takes place when the spine is damaged due to degeneration. 

How To Treat Spine Problems Related To Wear and Tear

Physical wear and tear issues are the simplest to treat, as it involves you stopping or reducing what you’re doing that’s causing the problem. Changing directions in how you sleep or implementing body mechanics while lifting heavy objects. 

Wear and tear can also be due to activities, and you will need to pause from continuing or modify how to do it. You can improve spine problems by switching positions or resting alone.

You also have the choice of seeking professional help. Taking medication is an option, as well as taking physical therapy.

Working together with a chiropractor is ideal, especially if your spinal injury is chronic rather than acute. If worst comes to worst, you should consider speaking with a doctor to get more aggressive treatment. Surgery may be best for those with spine problems, like spinal myelopathy. 

Understanding Your Spine Problems

Spine problems are almost certain to occur as you age. Still, this doesn’t make younger age groups infallible to the issue. Spine problems may be short-lasting and go away. 

There are others that notice spine issues are recurring events, especially if they are dealing with other morbidity issues like obesity. Gaining insight on the type of spinal problem you have best helps you learn how to treat it or get help.  

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