Dealing with and managing back pain can become challenging and quite expensive. Most of the times you manage to deal with back pain only for it to come back. Because more often than not the symptoms are being treated and not the problem itself, which is spinal compression.
The Spinal Column & Compression
The spinal column houses the spinal cord within the canal it forms, and it also supports the upper body, holding it upright. The column is divided into three parts – Cervical spine, Thoracic spine, and Lumbar spine regions. The three regions combined consist of 33 vertebrae that form the spinal column.
Spinal compression can affect any of these regions, but pain in the lumbar region is most common. This is partly due to the fact that it has to support the whole upper body.
Back pain is oftentimes associated with back deformity. The spinal column has a very special S shape. When the shape of the column deforms (or becomes compressed) it can irritate the surrounding nerves and tissue, triggering pain sensations. Spinal compression is one such deformity.
When external pressures press onto the spine, they can cause the spinal column to become squashed or pressed down. This is called spinal compression. This deformity may lead to more complications and is a cause of concern as it is often overlooked as a cause of pain.
There are many risk factors associated with developing compression along the spine, including:
- Age. Spinal compression tends to occur in people of old age, as our spine goes through changes that can lead to it becoming squashed and shorter in length.
- Carrying extra weight can strain the back and put pressure on the spine and the bundles of nerves that branch out of the spinal canal.
- Some occupations that require frequent bending motions or lifting heavy objects may place your back at risk of becoming compressed.
- Sedentary lifestyle. A lack of physical activity, combined with spending long periods of time sitting down can weaken the back muscles and reduce the available support for our upper body, straining our spine that now has to carry an increased load to hold our torso upright.
Symptoms and Complications
The symptoms commonly associated with spinal compression are pain, numbness, weakness in the arms, hands, legs or feet. The pain may come suddenly or gradually. Without proper care spinal compression can do damage to your body and lead to complications such as:
- Nerve compression, where the nerve roots can become compressed and trigger pain sensations.
- Disc herniation, where the soft contents of the disc spills through a crack in the shell and can impinge on nearby structures such as nerves.
- Spinal stenosis (which can also be caused by bone spurs or discs bulging into the spinal canal).
- Cauda Equina Syndrome, where the cauda equina (situated at the bottom of the lumbar spine) becomes compressed.
- Spinal cord injury or compression.
The development of spinal cord compression represents a medical emergency and should be treated as soon as possible. Symptoms of spinal cord compression may start with simple back pain, which can worsen and may also be accompanied by more severe symptoms such as stiffness, numbness, walking problems, or even loss of bladder and bowel control.
How can you treat and prevent spinal compression?
Most cases of back pain caused by compression of the spine can be treated naturally, with a simple treatment plan. This oftentimes involves some form of mobilisation of the spine, such as physical therapy, to allow the spine to regain its mobility and length. However, this process can be rather lengthy, expensive, and difficult to fit into one’s schedule.
There is an even better alternative that you can try to decompress your spine, relieve pressure on your spinal nerves, and reduce pain along the back from the comfort of your own home! That is to use the Backrack Spinal Decompression device.