Properly selected exercises and the most recent surgical procedures can effectively treat disorders of the spine. However, according to specialists, it is better to prevent than to treat.
The most common cause of back pain is overload of its ligaments which hold the vertebrae in proper position. Usually, the pain is the result of an on-going long time poor posture, improper body posture during sleep and not very healthy lifestyle. In care of our health, we should beware of the activities that compel us to this type of behavior. First of all, I would not recommend lifting weights, but carrying even a few pounds in the carrier bags does not harm the spine. We just need to remember to distribute weight evenly.
Jumps also badly affect the spine. Jumping on the rope is not a job for a man with a painful spine. We should also give up bowling and golf. Most back pains goes away. They result from overloading and the natural remedy is rest. Only when it persist for a long time, you should consult your doctor.
Orthopaedist or neurologist
Where should we look for help, when we are in pain? The spine is the body, the treatment of which is conducted by the specialists in various fields of medicine. In addition to orthopaedists, diagnoses on spinal diseases are posed by rheumatologists, neurologists, neurosurgeons and doctors with a specialization in rehabilitation. Orthopaedists and neurosurgeons are doctors focused on surgical treatment, while such rheumatologists deal with systemic disease, or inflammation, which can also occur in the spine.
During the visit, the doctor will determine if the changes that we have in the spine are inflamed, resulting from injury or caused by bad habits. If the back pain is accompanied by neurological changes, the patient requires a consultation with a neurologist or neurosurgeon. If the cause of the pain was trauma, the patient may require orthopaedic surgery.
The treatment of the painful spine is also dealt with by experts in the field of the so-called chiropractic. It is a type of manual therapy, which is based on the analysis of the mechanics of the musculoskeletal system and disorders that arise in it. Chiropractor, through the delicate technique, is able to balance the movement system and overcome pains, among others of the back.
Most often these are graduates of the rehabilitation, so they have experience with organ of movement. Their skills and knowledge can be useful in the further process of treatment, but the first steps with back pain should always refer to the doctor to put an accurate diagnosis and rule out serious diseases. Unfortunately it happens so that back pain is the first symptom of bone metastases in cancer. Then a fast, specialized treatment is required.
Surgically or conservatively
Methods of treating diseases of the spine is divided into a conservative and surgical. Conservative treatment is based on carefully selected exercises often combined with physical therapy and pharmacotherapy. It is also important to adopt the proper way of life: sitting, working, standing and resting. You must also learn the right way to assess your physical abilities. Doctors practicing manual therapy techniques can be helpful here, the effectiveness of which in many cases is beyond doubt.
Operational methods are dealt with by orthopaedists, neurosurgeons and more and more often invasive radiologists. Surgical treatment is always a last resort, it is used when there is no improvement after prolonged conservative treatment or when there is suspicion of nerve damage. The scale of operations and methods is very diverse. It depends on the extent of surgery, may sometimes require anaesthesia.
The most popular is the execution of the so-called fenestration or hemilaminectomy that consist in an excision by a surgeon of smaller or larger hole in the arch of vertebra to remove the damaged tissue.
There are also methods that are less traumatic for patients and they include e.g. endoscopic disc idectomy, which results in faster healing and less post-operative pain. The procedure involves insertion into the skin and muscles of endoscopic camera, which stratifies the tissue along the natural fibres and by using fibre optics it allows you to the point of view of the operating field right at the operated disc.
Currently, more and more minimally invasive procedures are conducted. One such example is the skin vertebroplasty applied in case of people with a broken vertebrae due to osteoporosis. This method replaces the much longer and more aggravating open orthopaedic surgery.
After modern spinal surgeries, in most cases one can function normally. The condition is to follow the doctor’s instructions. The basis is a regular rehabilitation, and in the long term it is necessary to follow the principles of prevention.
Pay attention to sciatica
The most common cause of back pain, which forces us to visit a specialist is shot, or otherwise lumbago.
It is a strong pain that occurs suddenly after tilting or twisting the torso. It is associated with damage to the intervertebral disc, which pinches the end of the nerves coming out of the spinal cord, namely the so-called nerve roots. This condition is commonly called herniated disk.
Neglecting and improper treatment of the so-called herniated disk can lead to irreversible changes, such as sciatica. It is a severe pain radiating to the buttocks, thighs or even calves. It is caused by pressure on the nerve roots. Pain may be accompanied by tingling and numbness in the extremities.
How is sciatica treated? In most cases, by conservative therapy. Patient suffering from this conditions should rest, lying on his back on a hard, not bending ground.
This can be done by putting a board under the mattress. The patient should have bent legs in hips and knees joints, and shins in this position should be supported. Such body position results in the fact that the moved nucleus pulposus gets back on its place and releases the compressed structures. As a result, the pain subsides, and in time it goes away. Discomfort can also be alleviated with warm compresses around the lower back. The patient is also relieved by administration of analgesics, vitamins and medicines relaxants. When the acute pain subsided, rehabilitation is necessary.
Depending on the severity of the disease, the rehabilitation is then applied, i.e. massage of paraspinal muscles and limbs, relaxation exercises, lift and physiotherapy treatment, such as heating with diathermy or solux lamp. The ultrasounds and therapeutic baths are also useful. People who are prone to sciatica, in order to prevent recurrence of the disease, should exercise paraspinal muscles and abs regularly.
The best results in this area is achieved by swimming on the back. It happens, however, that preventive treatment has no effect and the patient continues to suffer from penetrating pain and increasing signs of damage to the nerve roots. Then operation can bring relief, which involves the removal of degenerated intervertebral disc.