Anatomy of the spine
Our spine consists of a total of 33 individual bones that stack on top of the other. These bones build up the support in your body, letting you sit, stand, walk, run, and even lay down properly. For a healthy spine, the various nerves, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones need to be strong as well. Any of these parts affected with a disease, injury, or strain will cause pain.
If you watch from the side, the human spine has an S curved shape to it, which is the natural shape for an adult. The three curves in the spine, cervical, thoracic, and lumbar curve work like a coiled spring that maintains our balance, bears shock and allows different angles and motions throughout the spinal column.
The spine connects to most parts of our body. It connects several nerves to the brain, which makes possible communication and a signal to the body on, when, and if to move. To get a better understanding of spinal conditions, we need to know the two types of spinal conditions.
- Acute injuries
- Wear and tear injuries
Things to consider
People with neck or back pain can have multiple reasons for their conditions. Various tissues may contribute to neck or back pain, including vertebrae, ligaments, neural structures, muscles, intervertebral discs, and fascia. Various disorders can also damage these tissues. The most common reason for back-related issues comes to aged people because of the degenerative changes or repetitive traumas. Back pain diseases can be found out through careful consideration of the patient’s history, physical examination, and the right diagnostic studies. Once the problem is diagnosed, proper treatment and care can start.
Usually, pain is felt in the lumbar (lower back) and cervical (neck) region. Pain in the thoracic section is less common because this region is firm. A person gets more strains and sprains in the lumbar and cervical region because these need to bear weight and involve more functioning and movements. When the tissue fiber is strained or ripped at unusual angles, lumbar muscle strain is caused, and when the ligaments are abnormally stretched, a lumbar sprain is caused.
In the strained or sprained lumbar spine, the tissues get inflamed and thus cause muscle spasms and pain.
How to Identify
For cervical and thoracic pain, a person may feel pain in the inner soft tissue without the pain flowing into the chest, legs, or arms. However, if the pain radiates into the chest wall or other extremities, this signifies the nerves pinching the spine.
Other symptoms include the inability to move or maintain a correct posture, stiffness in the lower back, and muscle spasms with or without activity. It needs to be noted whether the person can walk on tiptoes or if the pain exceeds more than 10 to 14 days.
Common Spine Conditions
- Herniated Cervical Disc
- Herniated Lumbar Disc
- Spinal Osteoarthritis (Spondylosis)
- Spinal Stenosis
- Scoliosis and Spinal Deformities