Diseases Diseases

What You Must Know About Spine Diseases

About spine diseases

Introduction

The spinal cord is an important part of the nervous system that is responsible for relaying messages to and from the brain. It is found inside the vertebrae which are the bone disks that make up the spine. The spine is usually protected by the vertebrae. Spine diseases are any pathology that affects the spinal nerves. There are many types of spine diseases that affect the spine and are caused by different factors all together. Spine diseases have become so common due to the kind of lifestyle that many people have adopted. The spine diseases range from the purely skeletal disorders to primary nervous system disorders.

Types of spine diseases

There are many different types of spine diseases but the following are the four main spine diseases.

  • Traumatic spine diseases: refers to the spine diseases that are caused by traumatic injury such as falling or car accidents. It includes spinal instability, traumatic disc herniation and spinal fractures.
  • Degenerative spine diseases: it is to refer to the pathology of the spine that presents itself overtime due to aging and wear and tear of the vertebral column. It includes spinal instability, spinal stenosis and herniated disc disease.
  • Spinal tumors: these are tumors that are found in the spinal cord or the vertebral column. They can originate from the spinal column or can spread to the spine from other parts of the body like in the case of metastatic cancer.
  • Spinal dysraphisms: refers to spinal abnormalities that affect the development of the spinal cord or the vertebral column.

Symptoms of spine diseases

The symptoms of spine diseases vary depending on the type of spine disease affecting an individual. The most common symptoms of spine diseases include the following;

  • difficulty in walking and balancing
  • unusual head or spine lumps
  • extreme pain in the neck, head or the back
  • tingling and loss of sensation in the hands, feet, fingers and toes
  • abnormal band like sensations in the thorax it could be pain or pressure
  • muscle weakness
  • numbness
  • reduced flexibility and mobility
  • loss of bladder and bowel control
  • difficulty in breathing
  • stiffness in any part of the spine




How to prevent spine diseases

Preventing spine diseases could be the best way to avoid unnecessary medical procedures that are painful and expensive. The following are the preventive measures that can be followed to prevent spine diseases.

  1. Being careful during sports: it is good to always wear the required safety gears and avoid leading with the head during sports. Use a spotter when practicing new moves in gymnastics. When swimming, make sure you check the water levels before diving. Diving in shallow water may injure the spine and cause subsequent damage.
  2. Prevent falling: use a stool and a grabber when trying to reach objects that are in high places. Add handrails along the stairways, use nonslip mats on slippery floors.
  3. Avoid driving when drunk or sick: driving when drunk or sick may lead to fatal accidents that may lead to spine damage and injury. Driving safely and wearing safety belts would be the best way to avoid spine diseases that are caused by car crashes.
  4. Going for regular checkups will help to identify spine diseases early hence prevent fatal spine damages.
By winnie mwihaki, published at 03/13/2012
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