Spine Treatment - Types, Purpose, and Procedures
Spine Treatment Definition and Purpose
If you have been struggling with back or neck pain for an extended period of time, chances are you may have a spine problem or an underlying spinal condition that is causing the pain. Spinal problems may arise in any person, usually as a result of old age, severe stress on the spine and injury, among many others.
Spine treatments are medical treatment procedures used to remedy these problems and treat them, with the purpose of returning the spine to its original condition, or at least to return most of the spine’s function, and achieve proper posture and alleviate back pain in the person affected.
Types of Spine Treatment and their Corresponding Procedures
As far as spine treatments go, there are two major types, and these are Non-surgical spine treatment and Surgical Spine Treatment.
1. Non-Surgical Spine Treatment - nonsurgical spine treatment, as you can probably guess involves non-invasive and conservative spine treatment procedures that don’t involve any kind of surgery whatsoever. Spine treatments of this kind are usually the first course of treatment for most spine problems and are used in combination with other non-surgical spine treatments.
Some of the most common non-surgical spine treatments out there include:
- Medications - medications, usually over the counter painkillers are the first line of defense for spine problems, especially those that have a symptom of back pain. The type of medication can vary depending on the severity of the pain, but usually involve NSAIDs such as Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen, and Naproxen Sodium.
- Physical Therapy - physical therapy is also a common spine treatment and can cure various spine problems easily without having to undergo surgery. This type of spine treatment usually involves exercise that stimulates the spine, and allow for gradual correction of irregularities.
- Spine Bracing - spinal bracing commonly involves the attaching of a brace to the spine to help correct its posture or to correct any underlying deformity in it. Spinal bracing is usually done by attaching corsets or orthoses to the back, and they usually come in flexible or rigid versions.
Other non-surgical and conservative spine treatments include:
- Epidural steroidal injection
- Spine joint injection
- And intradiscal percutaneous procedures.
2. Surgical Spine Treatment - for more severe and serious cases of spinal problems, surgery may be the only option. Most people having spine problems fear surgery, but surgical spine treatments nowadays are already getting less invasive as new methods and advances are made in the medical field. But more often than not, surgery is an ideal option for those who want to rid their body of spinal problems once and for all, as these types of spine treatments are only done once and results are immediately achieved.
Some of the most common examples of surgical spine treatments include:
1. Open Surgery. This is the most traditional form of spinal surgery available out there and involves opening the affected site with a long incision, wherein the surgeon can have a full view and access to the spinal anatomy and perform the surgery from thereon. This is not an ideal form of surgery as it opens up a very large cut in a person’s back. However, recent advances in the medical field have rendered this process obsolete as newer and newer surgical processes are becoming less and less invasive.
2. Minimally invasive spine surgery or MISS. In comparison with open surgery, Minimally invasive spinal surgery is done through tiny incisions in the skin that don’t affect the surrounding tissue. This method allows the surgeon to achieve similar results with open surgeries all while doing the least amount of disruption in the surrounding tissue of the spine. There are various surgical approaches as far as MISS is concerned, these are:
- Anterior approach - this approach involves accessing the spine through the front of your body, usually through the abdomen.
- Posterior approach - this method, on the other hand, involves accessing the spine through your back
- Lateral approach - involves creating an incision on the side of your body.
3. Discectomy - Involves the removal of a herniated disc. A herniated disc is a vertebral disc that is bulging out or has slipped out from its original position, causing pain, weakness, and numbness in the user.
4. Laminectomy - laminectomy is the removal of the laminae, or the thin bony plate on the back of the vertebra to relieve pressure in the spine
5. Foraminotomy - removal of the bone or tissue called neuroforamen in the passageway of the spine where nerve roots branch off the spinal cord
6. Spinal Fusion - spinal fusion is a surgical technique that is used to fuse two vertebrae together. Spinal fusion includes the use of bone graft without using screws, rods, and etc. The bone graft can either be donated (allograft) or sourced from your own bones (autograft).