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Maintaining Spine Health Across the Lifespan

Poor posture in childhood can lead to spinal disc compression in adulthood. Meanwhile, most adults experience back strain at some point during their working lives (per an article in 2016 in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics). Whether a spine disorder is diagnosed at birth or at some later time in life, the consequence is usually pain and an adverse overall effect on quality of life. 

The following describes three of the foremost spine-related disorders affecting individuals at the following five different age-related time period: childhood, adolescence, adulthood, middle-age (aged at least 40 years), and senior-age (aged at least 65 years). Also described are treatment options for vertebral disorders. At NeuroMicroSpine, we can aid you by providing medical treatment for your spine disorder to prevent further disability as you continue to grow older.

Scoliosis – Understanding Severity and Treatment Options

A sideways curvature of the spine (ranging from mild to severe) is featured in the spinal disorder termed scoliosis. This innate spinal disorder is often diagnosed in childhood (before age 15), and a recognized risk factor is having a parent with idiopathic scoliosis. At least 2 percent of the US population is afflicted with scoliosis (according to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons). Children who have poor posture andscoliosis often develop chronic back pain in adulthood. In turn, this chronic pain can interfere with performing workplace roles, and other activities of daily life.

An article in Pediatrics suggested that an increased severity of childhood scoliosis may be linked to a higher Body Mass Index (BMI) – and the prevalence of childhood obesity is high in the US.

Herniated Disc Diagnosis – Determining Necessity of Surgery

A motor vehicle accident or overuse injury can lead to disc herniation of a vertebra (in which the cartilage between each vertebra can receive undue pressure to the point of lessening and/or bulging). Truck drivers, manual laborers, and office workers are especially prone to herniated discs from overuse injuries. The Mayo Clinic website includes the following as symptoms of cervical and/or lumbar disc herniation:

  • Pain in the affected spinal area (or radiating pain);
  • Numbness or tingling (in area of the body with resultant impinged nerves);
  • Weakness (in area of the body with resultant impinged nerves)

Depending upon the severity of the herniation, the treatment approaches range from physical therapy (and NSAID medication) to minimally-invasive surgery or lumbar fusion. For people with severe lower back pain consequent to lumbar spine disc herniation, corticosteroid injections and minimally-invasive surgery are two potential treatment approaches.

As opposed to herniated disc surgeries in past decades, minimally-invasive endoscopic discectomy can be performed via the following distinct approaches (per an article in Current Reviews in Musculoskeletal Medicine):

  • Interlaminar;
  • Transforaminal;
  • Posterolateral;
  • Transiliac

Among the reasons to consider this type of surgery is whether you are experiencing sciatica(consequent to lumbar disc compression) that is producing hip pain. Notably, the physician specialists at NeuroMicroSpine in Floridacan perform your lumbar disc-related minimally-invasive surgery to relieve the pressure on your sciatic nerve.

Osteoarthritic Back Pain – Who is at Risk?

Around 12 percent of all adults in the US aged 25-74 have osteoarthritis (OA). The risk of developing OA is especially increased in those adults with a longstanding sedentary lifestyle (as well as in post-menopausal women, clinically-obese adults, and senior-aged people). Also at heightened risk of developing osteoarthritis are:

  • People living with Lupus;
  • People living with Crohn’s disease;
  • People with long-term insufficient intake of Vitamin D and Calcium

For some adults, damage to the vertebral cartilage can be so severe that invasive surgery is necessary. However, surgical site infection risk is tremendously increased in invasive spinal surgery (e.g.,a spinal fusion). Indeed, infections following invasive spine surgeries can be life-threatening.

For this reason, utilizing conservative measures or undergoing minimally-invasive surgery is preferable if considered likely to resolve the causal factor for your back pain. However, prevention (by practicing correct body mechanics when lifting heavy objects, and avoiding persistent slouching) is the best way to avoid a preventable injury necessitating spinal intervention.

If you have a spine pain, we’d like to help you get relief. For more information on the best treatment for spine pain or to make an appointment with the doctors at NeuroMicroSpine please call (850) 934-7545 or click here to request an appointment. We hope to see you soon!

The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.