The spine is the most critical component of our body. There are 26 vertebrae in humans, which further divided into the cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacrum, and coccyx. The central nervous system, consisting of the brain and spinal cord, is surrounded by the spine. Numerous conditions may affect the vertebral column, or the spinal column such as spinal stenosis, osteoarthritis, and scoliosis.
These conditions are quite common among adults in the United States, and thankfully they’re treatable. Spinal surgeons specialize in the treatment of spinal abnormalities. With contemporary medicine, there are many treatment options available to anyone suffering from back pain or spinal disorders. Once one of the most threatening diagnoses, spinal cancer is witnessing increasing success in its treatments.
Here are a few of the most common spinal disorders and abnormalities and their treatments:
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Spinal stenosis is a degenerative disease that results in the narrowing of region of the spine containing spinal nerves or the spinal cord. Those with spinal stenosis often notice radiating pain, weakness, and numbness as well as the feeling of the compression of the spinal cord.
Lumbar stenosis and cervical stenosis are the two regions that the narrowing generally occurs. The typical features of lumbar stenosis are tingling , weakness or numbness that emanates from the buttocks and legs. The second type of stenosis is cervical. Cervical stenosis often causes more severe symptoms as it places pressure on the spinal cord, often causing great pain and even requiring surgery.
Scoliosis is a common spinal abnormality in which the spine is curved. There are several types of scoliosis, but the most common is idiopathic scoliosis–a variant that suddenly appears typically during adolescence. Typically, those with scoliosis experience pain in the back, shoulders, and neck, limited mobility, and some even experience heart and lung problems in the more serious cases. Around 2 to 3% of all Americans at age 16 have scoliosis, which is equivalent to about five to nine million people. Spinal surgery is less likely for scoliosis than other disorders, and the majority of cases can be treated through bracing the leg.
Signs of Osteoarthritis
A common cause of disc degeneration in adults is osteoarthritis. Arthritis describes various conditions affecting the body that induce tenderness, pain, swelling, and stiffness of joints. This condition affects almost 50,000,000 Americans; however, there are numerous spinal treatments available that will alleviate the pain as well as manage the stiffness.
The Future of Spinal Oncology
Spinal oncology is one of the most promising advancements in oncological medicine in recent years. Essentially, spinal oncology is rather new subfield of oncological medicine that focuses on the treatment of tumors in the spine.
Increasingly improving outcomes for patients over the years have shown how spinal surgery techniques have improved and strengthened the likelihood of a positive outcome for many, many patients.