This article has been authored by Dr. Saurabh Rawall, who is a spine surgeon at Jaypee Hospital Noida. He has done his MBBS from AIIMS, New Delhi followed by MS Orthopaedics from AIIMS, New Delhi, India. To know more about Dr. Saurabh Rawal or book an appointment, please call 0120 – 412 2222
Your Body is Telling You to See a Spine Specialist
The most ignored part of our body is the back and spine. Our sedentary lifestyle and incorrect siting posture affect the spine and this ignorance can make it susceptible to discomfort and injuries. Our spine gets its structure from the column of 33 vertebrae placed sequentially around the spinal cord.It provides support to our body to perform movement like bending, twisting and standing upright. The spinal nerves that branch off the spinal cord act as communication lines and carry movement control messages from spine to other parts of the body.
Apparently, apart from desk bound routine and bad postures, unhealthy food habits and deficiencies also result in spinal disorders.
Read on to understand what the implication of regular back pain are, how to read the symptoms of spine problems and the immediate step to cure it.
Acute pain in the lower back: This can be due to muscle spasms and can be controlled with safe painkillers or using a hot-cold pack to ease the muscles. However, if the pain persists for more than 3 days, and causes severe discomfort in bending or siting upright consult the spine specialist immediately.
Numbness: If there is a numb sensation in arms along with lower back pain while standing, difficulty in balancing and added numbness in legs and buttocks, seek appointment with a specialist. This could be due to nerve suppression or maybe spinal stenosis. Spinal stenosis is a condition where the spinal column of vertebrae narrows and compresses the spinal cord. It can be treated with appropriate medication, hot or cold packs and proper rest.
Weakness in limbs: Do you experience difficulty in walking, weakness while moving legs and arms and continuous discomfort or stiffness in the back? Suggestion is to not prolong it and consult a doctor immediately to know the exact cause. It could be a nerve problem in the back.
Sciatica: If you experience a shooting pain or pricking pain that originates in the spine and reaches down the back of the leg, see a specialist. This could be the initial symptoms of Sciatica where the sciatic nerve gets affected. This type of pain usually shoots from one side of the body and can be felt on the back, buttocks, hip and along the thigh. Overweight and inactive lifestyle puts you at a high risk sciatica. Apart from medication, the spine specialist will suggest low intensity exercises to get relief from this disorder.
Headache and neck stiffness: Persistent pain around shoulders which increases while siting, coughing or tilting the neck backwards, stiffness in the neck, frequent bouts of aches in back of head and slight dizziness are signs that tell you to seek immediate medical attention. These can be symptoms of cervical spondylosis. The cartilage around the neck and bones undergo wear and tear. If your occupation involves heavy lifting or prolonged siting with the neck bent forward, there are chances that the spine around the neck area may either stiffen or the gel like cushion between spinal bones dries out. Cervical spondylosis is painful and can hurt day to day activities. Depending on the severity, treatment and exercises can cure this gradually.
Treatment for spinal disorder involves changes in routine, appropriate rest and maybe change in the type of cushion or mattress you use. But it is utmost important that the symptoms be quickly identified and examined. Correct siting posture and sleeping position is equally crucial to keep the spine healthy and in shape.