Spondylosis, Strained spine… or is it fine? - VIMS

Spondylosis, Strained spine… or is it fine?

Spondylosis

If you were asked to imagine a chair, on which, a bowl of junk food, an aerated drink, and some processed foods are kept, which among these would you say is the most unhealthy? Did you say processed food? No, you are wrong… now you are in dilemma between aerated drink and street food right? Picking either of them would also be the wrong answer. Remember the chair I mentioned at the outset? You read it right… that chair is the most unhealthy one among them. Why, you ask? Let’s get started…

We work around 8 to 12 hours a day, seated in one place and in a bad posture. We travel to work carrying the laptop and our other essentials in a backpack or sling bag. Our weekends are stuffed with junk food, alcohol, and smokey puffs. If you think you are as tough as nails and can remain unscathed after putting your body through regular torture, you couldn’t be more wrong. Your careless lifestyle choices made over time can cause Spondylosis. Derived from the Greek Language … Spondylosis is nothing else but the wear and tear in the small joints of the spine due to age-related phenomena. However, lately, this problem has become quite common even among the youth. Almost 6% of the world population are suffering from severe back pain as a result of Spondylosis.

Listen to your Spine and Backbone. 

The causes of Spondylosis are easy to overlook. It is the very routine practices, carried out thoughtlessly every day that bring about harm to our Spine.

  1. When your work costs you: We work hard to earn a living just so that we could lead a happy and comfortable life, little realizing that we end up spending that hard-earned money to treat the health issues caused by improper work-life practices. Improper sitting posture, disregarding ergonomic aspects, little to no movements/locomotion for long periods of time, shouldering heavy loads, and overtime working without rest can promote the wear out of the vertebral column which results in Spondylosis.
  2. Trends that went wrong: What’s not to like in a fit-looking body? Flat stomach, broad shoulder, biceps, triceps, six packs, and the works! Achieving such physically sculpted looks is not easy.  In the attempt to get instant results we are prepared to sweat it out with intense workouts in the gym using heavy weights and pushing the limits of the body. If the healthy habit of exercising is carried out in excess, it ruins the spine with the onset of spondylosis. 
  3. Age Factor: Cervical Spondylosis is the most common health issue faced by the elderly. The degradation of the cervical column along with the lumbar spine and cartilage wear out makes movements less flexible and more painful. What starts as mere stiffness and neck pain could gradually become more pronounced as the degeneration occurs with aging.  
  4. Trauma and Injury: Accidents and injuries that have a direct impact on the spine can cause spondylosis. In instances of injuries caused in car crashes, repetitive injuries when playing sports or even in factory-related accidents, the intensity of the problem will be greater, if there is a lack of proper medical care.
  5. Reasons that cannot be neglected: The symptoms of Spondylosis can be seen in the succeeding generations. This condition of genetic factor can cause severity if neglected. Along with heredity, habits can also cause spondyolosis. Nowadays doctors are relating the habit of smoking with cervical stress which ultimately leads to spondiyolsis. In some cases, the extra fat in the body can contribute to the problem. An obsessed body invites pain in the neck and lower back and you know such pain will end in Spondyolsis.
Stretching for Office Workers

Spondyolsis says know more about me…

Once the root cause of the problem is identified, it is important to know what actually spondylosis is. Due to the abuse of the spine, the space between 2 adjacent vertebrae narrows. This pressure compresses the nerve root emerging from the spinal cord. In some cases, a new bone develops around the small joints which also pressurizes the nerves. This leads to the complications like…

  1. Dehydrated disks: You can imagine the disk as a cushion in between the vertebrae of the spine. After the age of 40, this disk gradually starts to become dry and shrink. The more pressure of ‘on bone contact’ between the vertebrae the more agonizing of pain.
  2. Herniated disk: The exterior part of the spinal disk sometimes develops cracks or ruptures, through which the soft interior of the disk gets squeezed. Sometimes this applies sharp pressure on the nerve roots often producing pain.
  3. Bone Spurs: In order to strengthen the spine, as a misguided struggle the body develops an extra amount of bone. This bone spur could start to pinch the spinal and nerve roots.  
  4. Stiff Ligaments: Ligaments are the tissues that connect one bone with another. With age, these ligaments stiffen and lose their flexibility.

When the body indicates symptoms

Most people do not experience debilitating pain until spondylosis gets severe, simply because they may not be aware of the changes happening to the neck and spine. If you observe the following symptoms, consider it an alarm of spondylosis.

  1. The spinal canal within the bones of the spine will constrict.
  2. Tingling, abnormal sensations, and numbness are quite often experienced in the legs, arms, and hands.
  3. Weak in the arms and legs along with back pain.
  4. Loss of bladder or no control over the bowel.
  5. Lack of coordination, imbalance, and difficulty in mobility.
  6. The direct pressure on the nerve roots can give the sensation of shocks due to nerve compression and lack of blood flow.
  7. Pain in the neck, arm, shoulder, back, and leg is considered the most common symptom of Spondylosis.

Spondylosis can be treatable:

The goal of the treatment of Spondylosis is to relieve pain to easily perform daily activities and avoid permanent damage. Treatment depends on the severity of the problem. The solution can be in the form of Physical Therapy or Surgical Procedure.

  1. Physical therapy includes exercise and stretches which helps to strengthen the neck and shoulders. It provides more space within the spine for the punched roots.
  2.  Surgeries like Facetectomy, Foraminotomy, Laminectomy, etc are recommended for severe cases.
Spondylosis Facts

A Painless life…

Treatments are meant to cure the disease. Doctors and surgeons assist to provide the best possible treatment to reduce the pain and help you to get rid of this health issue. It is also possible to avoid spondylosis through simple alterations to our everyday routines and practices.

  • Sweating saves

Regular exercise contributes a lot to evading Spondylosis. While yoga and stretches, strengthen the backbone, daily brisk walks in the early morning or evening are great for image building and keeping the signs of Spondylosis at bay.

  • Don’t trust your chair…

Our sitting and sleeping postures determine the chances of getting into the problem of spondylosis. Using just one flat or thin pillow allows you to maintain a straight vertebral column while sleeping. Bad posture weakens and distorts the spinal cord hence a proper straight sitting position helps to elude the issue of Spondylosis.   

  • Overburdened

These days it is quite common to see both kids and adults lugging a backpack or sling bag- a ‘Doraemon pocket’ of sorts filled with all our necessary articles. But your spine weeps with the pressure it exerts as that weight you carry everyday acts slowly wears it out. Hence a better alternative could be to reduce the weight of the backpack or frequently change the positions of the sling bag.

  • You are what you eat

The food that we intake is responsible for the changes happening within the body. Junk food and excessive salt and sweet cravings work to make our bodies obese. That stubborn fat invites other diseases besides spondylosis too. Consumption of food rich in omega-3 fatty acids and the use of turmeric, ginger, and garlic work magic in warding off many health issues.

Our fear of illness weakens us as we forget that practicing healthy habits is the best protection from the evil clutches of diseases. Spondylosis is not a grave problem nor does it lead to disability, but if neglected it causes severe discomfort and pain. Cultivate the practice of a short walk of 2 to 3 minutes every 1 to 2 hours. Stretch and bend once in a while. Apply heat or cold in case of slight neck and back pain due to stress. While consuming nutritious food and regular exercise shields Spondylosis self-medication and carelessness defeat the goal of healthy living.  A most essential point to remember is to visit the doctor for any issues related to the spine.

Also Read: Wireless Implants to Help Paralysed People Walk Again

Disclaimer: The information included here is only for knowledge-sharing purposes, and the blog is not intended to be a substitute for diagnosis, medical advice, or treatment by a healthcare professional. Every individual needs advice based on diagnosis and evidence, hence the reader should consult their doctor to determine the disease and any treatment must be taken under appropriate medical guidance.

8 Responses
  1. One

    Reduce the tensions in your daily life. Stress negatively
    impact your system. These adjustments could cause your whole body
    holding onto saturated fats. So getting rid of tension out of your daily life can make you
    leaner and trimmer!

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