The spinal cord is a bundle of nerves that runs down the middle of your back. It carries signals back and forth between your body and your brain. A spinal cord injury disrupts the signals and when this happened, it leads to spinal disorder.
The spinal cord is an organ of the nervous system that runs within the spine and goes from the hole of the skull, which communicates with the back bone to the L1 vertebrae. Your backbone, or spine, is made up of 26 bone discs called vertebrae. The vertebrae protect your spinal cord and allow you to stand and bend.
Spine disorder or deformity can happen when unnatural curvature occurs, as in scoliosis (side-to-side curvature) or kyphosis and Scheuermann’s disease (front-to-back curvature). It can also occur due to defect (e.g. spondylolisthesis) or damage to the spine (if there are multiple fractures or ankylosing spondylitis). Deformities do not commonly cause pain unless the change in structure restricts movement or reduces room in the spinal canal and puts pressure on the nerves there.
DIVISION OF THE BACKBONE:
The spine (backbone) is divided into four sections.
- Cervical (Neck): cervical spine is a well-engineered, strong structure that delicately houses the spinal cord and flexibly allows movement of the head in all directions.
- Thoracic (Chest): Thethoracic spine is an intricate construct of bones, connective tissues, nerves, muscles, spinal segments, and joints.
- Lumber (Lower back): Thelumbar region of the spine, more commonly known as the lower back, consists of five vertebrae labeled L1 through L5. The lumbar region is situated between the thoracic, or chest, region of the spine, and the sacrum.
- Sacral ( Pelvis): The sacral region (sacrum) is at the bottom of the spine and lies between the fifth segment of the lumbar spine (L5) and the coccyx (tailbone).
Spinal cord disorders can cause permanent severe neurologic disability. A number of problems can change the structure of the spine or damage the vertebrae and surrounding tissue. They include
- Low back pain
- Lumbar disk disease
- Cervical disk rupture
- Spinal stenosis
- Degenerative disk disease
- Arthritis of the spine
- Loss of sensation
- Compression fracture
Some conditions such as carpal tunnel, neuropathy, and ataxia have similar symptoms of spinal disorders. The common symptoms include:
- Neck pain; continuous aching or stiffness; sharp, localized pain; pain that radiates into the arm or hand; acute arm pain; arm numbness or weakness
- Back pain: This includes constant aching or stiffness; sharp, localized pain; pain that radiates down the legs and into the feet; acute leg pain; leg numbness or weakness
- Hand pain; tingling, numbness or weakness
- Imbalance; a hesitant or jerky gait
- Bladder dysfunction and incontinence
POSSIBLE EFFECTS OF SPINAL CORD DISORDER
Respiratory Paralysis Quadriplegia; such as loss of bladder and bowel control, pressure sores, blood clots, respiratory problems and spastic muscles
Paralysis: It is loss of the ability to move one or more muscles. It may be associated with loss of feeling and other bodily functions such as legs, wrists and hands.
Massage: Therapeutic low back massage is thought to provide low back pain relief by improving blood flow, reducing muscle stiffness, increasing range of motion, and raising endorphin levels in the body.
Lumber Miscrodiscectomy; is performed to relieve pressure on nerve roots caused by herniated disc.
Lumber Laminectomy; relieves the pressure of a pinched nerve. It does that by removing a portion of the lamina, the bony rim around the spinal canal. The procedure is often used to treat spinal stenosis and disc degeneration.
Spine fusion surgery; is a surgical procedure used to link together vertebrae, often because of a damage disc. During Surgery, bone growth is stimulated and then used to link the vertebrae together to stop the painful movement in the area.
Lumber disc replacement; is a relatively new procedure for treating lower back pain and relieving herniated and degenerated disc. Disc replacement is offered as an alternative to spine fusion surgery which causes limited movement and more stress on the back.
Surgery may be needed to relieve pressure on the spine from bone fragments or foreign objects. Surgery may also be used to stabilize the spine, but no form of surgery can repire the damaged nerves of the spinal cord.
Herbal Remedies: Before trying any herbal remedies, it is advisable to do your research and talk to your doctor. There may be side effects that you are unaware of. An herbal remedy could interfere with a prescribed medicine you are taking. Some herbal remedies you may want to consider for spinal cord disorder are:
- Devil’s Claw: Today, it’s used for conditions that cause inflammation and pain, like degenerative disc disease. You can take it in a capsule.
- SAMe (S-adenosylmethionine): It’s been suggested that SAMe is useful for the age-related “wear and tear” spinal conditions, such as osteoarthritis and degenerative disc disease.
- White Willow Bark: It also provides relief for acute back pain.
Article by Edokita team
Inova spine (2017) causes and symptoms of spinal disorder.
Institut chiari & siringomiela & Escoliosis DE Barcelona (2016)
Medlin Plus (2016) Introduction and causes
Merck Mauals (2016) Division of spine, effects and causes of spinal disorder
Orthopaedic specialist of central Arizonna (2016). Treatment of spinal disorder Spine health (2016) Introduction.