Spine conditions or degenerative spine issues involve losing the normal function and structure of the spine. Degenerative indicates that the causes that brought about these changes is actually wear and tear with age. These changes are related to infection, trauma, or some other conditions.

Degenerative conditions of the spine can affect every structure within your spine. For instance:

  1. Discs: The intervertebral discs generally change their structure by age. They tend to lose their certain abilities where they could cushion their joints, with their fibrous outer portions showing cracks. This allows certain portions of jelly-like core to jut out or protrude. This is popularly known as herniated disc. They could also slightly die out and collapse.
  2. Cartilage and bones: As the cartilage near the joints start wearing down, the vertebrae at the back of human vertebral arch starts rubbing against themselves. This aggravates the growth of extra bones that may restrict range of motion in the joints, causing stiffness and excruciating pain, could also compress the spinal cord and the nerve joints.
  3. Ligaments: Thickening of the ligaments, that causes pain and stiffness or the compression of spinal cord and nerve roots.

Symptoms

Depending upon the types and location of the problem, degenerative spine conditions vary. Some of them come with no symptoms, while some include neck pain or back pain. Certain types of conditions can do away without surgery, while some need surgical intervention. Conditions that call for neurosurgery include:

  1. Bladder or bowel incontinence with back pain followed by numbness in the areas that sits on saddle. This could indicate a rare neurological disease and needs to be treated immediately.
  2. An individual may feel back or neck pain, including numbness, weakness, or sharp shooting pain in the legs or arms.
  3. Back or neck pain that spreads into the foot, leg, hand, arm, or shoulders.
  4. Back or neck pain accompanied with fever or back or neck pain that increases at night.
  5. There could be several other symptoms of back and neck pain followed by breathing or swallowing difficulty, oozing weight inexplicably, or a fall, injury, or trauma.

Diagnosis and Test

In case a patient comes with symptoms that indicate spine disorders, the doctors might as well ask for the following tests:

X-rays – tests that provide images of the bones and the soft tissue structures like the spinal nerves, spinal cord. Through x rays even though ligaments and the disc is not visible, hey provide a good assessment for the bone anatomy and the alignment for the spinal column.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) – This method helps in detailed imaging of the soft tissues like the nerves, spinal cords and the discs. This scan helps the doctor to identify the degree of degeneration of the spinal canal space and the nerves.

Computed Tomography Scan (CT) – This provides a detailed understanding of the bone structures inside human spine. With the help of CT scan a much detailed imaging is possible and this also helps in better understanding of the severity of the spine condition.

Cura Multispecialty Hospital’s Treatment

The following treatments are suggested and administered at Cura Hospital’s bone, joints, and muscles department. We understand that no two spine conditions are the same. Hence, the treatments too can’t be identical. Hence, the physicians recommend certain non-operative treatments before considering surgery. The non-operative measures could be:

Medications – that include anti-inflammatory medications, pain medications, antidepressants, drugs that are non-steroidal and anti-inflammatory, tropical opioids, epidural injections, and anticonvulsants.

Other common treatments include physiotherapy, educating the patient about proper body mechanism, activity modification, bracing, and weight control. In certain advanced conditions, surgery may be recommended or absolutely necessary for cure.