Spine symptoms

Spine Problem- Symptoms, Types, Purpose, Diagnostic Procedures, and Treatment

Spine Problems: What is the Spine?

In order to properly delve into the various spine problems, it's important to know more about the spine.

The spine, or otherwise known as the backbone, and vertebral column, is a network of bones, tissues, and nerves in your body that is composed of 33 interlocking bones that are called vertebrae. These bones or vertebrae are separated and held in place by soft, compressible discs known as vertebral discs and are supported in turn, by many different muscles and ligaments.

The spine is most commonly divided into 4 parts, namely the: Cervical area (neck), Thoracic area (upper and middle area of your back), Lumbar area (lower back area), and Sacral area (pelvis). In other medical definitions, there is a 5th part which is the coccyx or otherwise known as the tailbone.

Any abnormality or irregularity that may arise from one of these 33 interlocking bones, or in any one of these areas can cause a whole host of spine problems to arise. The spine problem that may arise will vary from what area the abnormality or irregularity has originated from, but usually, it will involve back pain, weakness and sometimes numbness in the area affected.

Most Common Spine Problems and Purposes of each spinal region and their Symptoms

1. Neck Pain - A pain in the neck may suggest a spine problem in the cervical area of your spine. your cervical discs are responsible for stabilizing your neck and enabling the neck to reach a degree of mobility, and a problem in any one of these discs or bones can be cause for concern. Some spine problems that may arise from the cervical region of your spine are:

  • Cervical disc disease - cervical disc disease is a spine problem that arises when the discs in the cervical area of your spine start to degenerate and wear out, and the space between each vertebra narrows resulting in the pinching of nerves.
  • Herniated Discs - A herniated disc also known as a slipped disc can occur in any region of your spine, and is a condition where a spinal disc bulges out or breaks open.

Some symptoms of cervical spine problems include:

  • Neck stiffness
  • Radiating neck pain, weakness, and numbness that may spread to the shoulders, arms, and hands.
  • Limited range of neck movement

2. Upper Back Pain- Pain in the upper back is a clear indication of a spine problem in the thoracic region of your spine. The thoracic spine has the purpose of keeping stability and holding your upper body upright. The thoracic spine also has the purpose of providing protection for the vital organs in your torso. There are a whole host of spine problems and symptoms that can arise from the thoracic area of your spine. Some of these are:

  • Kyphosis or hunchback - Kyphosis occurs mainly in the upper back, and although it is a deformity, it can also cause pain.
  • Herniated discs- Herniated discs or the bulging and slipping out of vertebral discs from the spine can occur in any region of your spine, including the thoracic area.
  • Arthritis
  • Scoliosis

3. Lower Back Pain - A pain in your lower back may suggest a spine problem in the lumbar region of your spine. The lumbar region of your spine is responsible for holding up most of the weight of the torso, and hence has bones larger than the rest of your spine to support this purpose.  Some spine problems that may arise from the lower back pain include:

  • Osteoarthritis - the natural wear and tear of your spinal discs due to age
  • Spinal stenosis - the abnormal narrowing of a bone channel or spaces in your spine, affecting the nerves that travel through it.
  • Sciatica - a lumbar spine problem affecting the sciatic nerve that is characterized by pain that runs through the lower back through your hips and buttocks down to the back of each leg.
  • Herniated Disc - as mentioned before, a bulging or slipping out of the cartilage discs in your spine
  • Scoliosis - abnormal curvature of the spine
  • Injury

Common symptoms of lumbar spine problems include:

  • Back pain, numbness, and weakness
  • Difficulty walking and maintaining proper posture
  • Difficulty in lifting objects
  • Limited range of movement

Spine Problems: Diagnostic Procedures and Treatment

To diagnose spine problems regardless of what region of your spine it arises from, a doctor or medical specialist will usually begin by consulting your medical history and performing various physical and neurological tests on you. Imaging tests such as X-rays, MRI and CT Scan will then be used to further investigate the source and cause of the spine problem you are experiencing.

Most Spine Problems and Disc Diseases, especially in their early stages will usually require only physical therapy and a dosage of over the counter medical painkillers to reduce pain and inflammation. More serious cases will require surgery, and corresponding physical therapy after the surgical procedure.

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Questions & Answers
Q:
What is the best way to treat permanent back and neck pain and stiffness?
A:

Here are some tips:

Neck Pain Tips: Sleep with a cervical pillow

Orthopedic or cervical pillows are made with special contours to support the space beneath the neck and head. They are also more concave for the head and provide more support to the neck.

Neck Pain Tips: Sleep on your back

The best position to lie to sleep is on your back. If you sleep on your stomach or on your side, make sure your pillow is not too thick. It should raise your head no more than 4 to 6 inches. This will keep your neck and head from turning to either side.

Neck Pain Tips: Position your computer screen at eye level

While you are working at a computer, sit comfortably in your chair with your computer in front of you. Close your eyes and then open them. When you open your eyes, you should see the middle of the computer screen. If your gaze is not in the middle of the screen, adjust the height of the screen using items like books.

To keep your head from gradually drifting forward, take frequent breaks to stretch. Getting up to walk around at least once every half-hour is one of the best neck pain tips.

Neck Pain Tips: Use a telephone headset

Never hold a phone between your shoulder and your ear. Use a headset or other hands-free system to talk on the phone and avoid abusing your neck and spine.

Neck Pain Tips: Exercise your neck muscles

One of the best neck pain tips is using the chin tuck. You can do this often throughout the day. In addition to helping strengthen the muscles that hold the head in alignment over the shoulders, it also helps strengthen the scalene and sub-occipital muscles.

Read more tips here: Neck Pain Tips: Sleeping, Posture, Exercising, Hydration & Prevention

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Temed Holdings
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Q:
What is the best treatment for neck pain and shoulder Pain?
A:

One of the best treatment for neck pain and shoulder pain is exercises:

Neck Pain Exercises: Neck Extension

  1. To begin this neck pain exercise, sit up straight in a chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Looking straight ahead, tuck your chin slightly (starting position)
  3. Place the palm of your hand on the back of your neck, at the base of your head
  4. Apply slight forward pressure with your hand, while resisting the forward motion of your neck and head
  5. Hold for a count of 5 and return to the starting position and relax
  6. Repeat the neck pain exercises 5-10 times

Neck pain exercises: Side bend

  1. Sit up straight in a chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Looking straight ahead, tuck your chin slightly (starting position)
  3. Place your left hand, palm down, on the left side of your head (around your ear)
  4. Slightly push your head to the right side with your hand, while resisting the sideways motion of your neck and head
  5. Hold for a count of 5 and return to the starting position and relax.
  6. Repeat 5-10 times
  7. Repeat the neck pain exercises with the other side.

Neck pain exercises: Neck flexion

  1. Sit up straight in a chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Looking straight ahead, tuck your chin slightly (starting position)
  3. Place the tips of your fingers on your forehead
  4. Slightly push your head backward with your fingers, while resisting the backward motion of your neck and head
  5. Hold for a count of 5 and return to the starting position and relax.
  6. Repeat the neck pain exercises 5-10 times

More exercises here: Neck Pain Exercises

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Temed Holdings
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Q:
How do I reduce the shoulder and neck pain?
A:

Here are some tips:

Neck Pain Tips: Sleep with a cervical pillow

Orthopedic or cervical pillows are made with special contours to support the space beneath the neck and head. They are also more concave for the head and provide more support to the neck.

Neck Pain Tips: Sleep on your back

The best position to lie to sleep is on your back. If you sleep on your stomach or on your side, make sure your pillow is not too thick. It should raise your head no more than 4 to 6 inches. This will keep your neck and head from turning to either side.

Neck Pain Tips: Position your computer screen at eye level

While you are working at a computer, sit comfortably in your chair with your computer in front of you. Close your eyes and then open them. When you open your eyes, you should see the middle of the computer screen. If your gaze is not in the middle of the screen, adjust the height of the screen using items like books.

To keep your head from gradually drifting forward, take frequent breaks to stretch. Getting up to walk around at least once every half-hour is one of the best neck pain tips.

Neck Pain Tips: Carry weight evenly

Many people make the mistake of carrying a heavy briefcase or their purse on their shoulder or on one side of their body. Doing this causes strain in the muscles and leads to pain.

Remove non-essentials from your briefcase or purse. Consider using a backpack to evenly distribute the weight across your shoulders. If you choose to carry a purse or backpack, keep your shoulders level while carrying it.

Neck Pain Tips: Maintain a proper posture

The most common posture contributing to neck pain is the “head-and-shoulders-forward” posture. In this position, the neck slopes forward, putting the head in front of the shoulders.

In this position, the head pulls the upper back forward also in a slumped position. This places a strain on the entire spinal column.

More tips here: Neck Pain Tips: Sleeping, Posture, Exercising, Hydration & Prevention

Read more
Temed Holdings
4 answers