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Peripheral arterial disease or commonly known as PAD is a common cardiovascular disease. Despite having the power to cause painful symptoms and severe health risks, it is overlooked by many. This particular arterial disease may lead to life-threatening consequences if left untreated for long. Read on to know more about the condition.
What is PAD?
PAD refers to the situation where in the peripheral arteries to the arms, head, stomach, and legs become narrow. Often referred to as the peripheral vascular disease, here, the arteries start to grow narrower due to the slow but constant buildup of fatty deposits on the artery walls. Though it can affect all the arteries in a person’s body, except those that supply blood to the heart, in the majority of cases, it affects the arteries in the leg.
What are the threats it poses?
PAD is indeed a life-threatening disease, as the blockages, it creates in the peripheral arteries prevent normal blood circulation to the different organs, legs, and brain. And when the blood flow is restricted, or the vital organs of the body fail to receive necessary blood flow, then the legs, brain and all the vital organs suffer severe damage. And when PAD continues to harm the blood flow for a long time, then it leads to tissue infection or tissue death, which is known as gangrene.
Additional health issues it causes
PAD also creates various other health concerns, such as atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a chronic disease of fatty materials’ build up. In the case of atherosclerosis, the entire blood circulatory system gets damaged, including the arteries leading to the heart. The risk of blood clot build ups and vascular inflammation are also common additional threats posed by the fatty deposits.
Depending on the part of the body that is affected, the PAD symptoms vary from one to another. However, painful cramping in the muscles of one’s legs is the most common symptom of this condition. The pain, originating in the legs often goes up to the muscles in the thighs or hips too. Except this, weakness or numbness in the legs, ulcers or open sores on the feet or legs, skin color changing into bluish or pale are some of the other symptoms of PAD.
The peripheral arterial disease can be diagnosed easily, painlessly and straightforwardly under proper medical attention. Both prescribed medications and a lifestyle change are considered to be the best treatment for controlling PAD. Including a healthy diet and adopting a healthy lifestyle have often been successful in preventing PAD in its early stage.
The moment any signs or symptoms of PAD is noticed one should not be late in seeking immediate medical attention.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Breast cancer is the most common cancer that affects women. It is also deemed to be one of the major reason of death among women, though lung cancer is the leading cause of this. The chances that a woman may die of breast cancer is about 2.7% of the women who are suffering. Breast cancer is known to affect men as well, in certain cases. Breast cancer may be genetic but, in certain cases, it is caused due to excess intake of alcohol. Surgery is an option, but treatments also include therapies like radiation and chemo.
Treatment for breast cancer
Breast cancer can be treated in several ways; however, the treatment depends upon many factors. These factors include the type of breast cancer, its stage, sensitivity of a person to the hormones, age of the patient, health of the patient and most importantly, preferences of the patient. The most common treatment options for breast cancer are radiation therapy, biological therapy, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, and surgery.
Cytotoxic drugs are important medications that are used to eliminate cancer cells. This medication is used if the chances of the cancer cells spreading are high. This process is known as the adjuvant chemotherapy.
Many a time, the tumor increases in size and surgery becomes essential. This is when the chemotherapy is administered to reduce the tumor size and make it easier for the surgeons to remove the tumor. This process is referred to as neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Chemotherapy can treat metastasized cancer or cancer that has affected other body parts, thereby reducing the symptoms, mostly in the advanced stages.
Radiation is targeted towards the tumor in controlled doses so that the cancer cells are destroyed. Radiation therapy is mostly advised to the patients after they go through surgery, to eliminate the cancer cells that may still be there.
Hormone blocking therapy
Most people go through breast cancer that is hormone sensitive. The hormone blocking therapy helps in preventing the recurrence in this type of breast cancer. The hormone blocking therapy is also used to reduce the size of the tumor, but this method is also suggested after a person goes through surgery.
There are some drugs that fall under this category that is used for destroying the various types of the breast cancer.
If at all the patient requires surgery, it depends on his or her diagnosis reports and his or her will to undergo surgery. The types of surgery include Lumpectomy, Sentinel node biopsy, Mastectomy, Axillary lymph node dissection, and Reconstruction. Reconstruction is the method which the doctors make use of to make both the breasts look similar after the surgery is complete. There are several treatment options available to treat breast cancer, and it depends on the choice of the patient to opt for surgery. Surgery helps in eliminating the risk of the spreading of the cancer cells, and it is one of the most effective treatments for breast cancer.
I am having problem in l4 and I5. This problem is from around 3 years. But the condition is improved now. Can you please suggest some exercises?
While you cannot cure breast diseases, family history and maturing, but there are some hazards or risks that you can control. Keeping in mind the fact that there is no certain approach to forestall breast cancer, there are things you can do that may bring down the hazard. Here are five approaches to ensure your breast's well-being:
- Watch your weight: Being overweight or hefty expands breast cancer chances. This is particularly true after menopause and for women who have put on weight as grown-ups. After menopause, the vast majority of your estrogen originates from fat tissue. Having more fat tissue can heighten your chances of getting breast cancer by raising the estrogen levels. Additionally, women who are overweight have a tendency to have more elevated amounts of insulin, than other hormones. Higher insulin levels have been associated with a few tumors, including breast cancer.
- Exercise routinely: Many reviews have found that exercise is the sign of having a healthy breast. Studies show that one to two hours of energetic walking each week, lessened a woman’s cancer risk by eighteen percent. Walking ten hours seven days decreased the hazard all the more.
- Constrain liquor: Women who have two to five mixed beverages every day have a higher danger of breast cancer than women who have just one drink a day or none . As much as three to six glasses of wine seven days have been found to somewhat increase breast cancer chances. It is not clear how or why liquor raises the hazard. In any case, constraining liquor is particularly essential for women who have other hazard variables for breast cancer, like, breast cancer running in their families.
- Restrain time spent sitting: Research has shown that sitting time, regardless of how much exercise you get when you are not sitting, increases the probability of growing cancer, particularly for women. Women who sit six hours or more a day outside of work have a ten percent more serious risk for breast cancer compared to the ladies who sit under three hours a day, and an increased hazard for other cancer types as well.
- Stay away from or confine hormone substitution treatment: Hormone Replacement Treatment (HRT) was utilized frequently in the past to control night sweats, hot flashes, and other troublesome manifestations of menopause. In any case, specialists now realize that postmenopausal ladies who take a blend of estrogen and progestin might probably create breast tumors or cancer. Breast cancer disease seems to come back within five years in the wake of ceasing the blend of hormones. Therefore, get a breast cancer test even if you feel a small lump. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a gynaecologist.
Cancer is the abnormal, uncontrolled growth of cells in a particular body part. With continued growth, pieces of this tissue travel through the blood to different body parts and continue to grow in the new area. This is known as metastases. Breast cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer and affects about 1 in 8 women in the USA. Read on to know more details of breast cancer – breast anatomy, causes, symptoms, risk factors, detection, prevention, and of course treatment.
Anatomy: The main function of the breast is lactation through its milk-producing tissue that are connected to the nipple by narrow ducts. In addition, there is surrounding connective tissue, fibrous material, fat, nerves, blood vessels and lymphatic channels which complete the structure. This is essential to know as most breast cancers develop as small calcifications (hardened particles) in the ducts or as small lumps in the breast tissue which then continues to grow into cancer. The spread can happen through lymphatic or blood flow to other organs.
Warning signs/symptoms: The following are some symptoms that need to be watched out for if you have a predisposition to breast cancer.
- A lump in either of the breasts or armpits
- Change in size, shape, or contour of either breast
- Redness of your breast or nipple
- Discharge of clear or bloody fluid
- Thickening of breast tissue or skin that lasts through a period
- Altered look or feel of the skin on the breast or the nipple (dimpled, inflamed, scaly, or puckered)
- One area on the breast that looks very different from the other areas
- Hardened area under the breast skin
Either one or a combination of these should be an indication to get a detailed checkup done. Early diagnosis results in controlling the disease with minimal treatment and reduced complications.
Causes and risk factors: The exact cause for breast cancer is yet to be pinned down. However, risk factors are clearly identified, and women with risk factors need to watch out for warning signs.
- Family history: Of all the risk factors, the family history is the most important. Breast cancer runs in families, and if there is a first-degree relative with the breast cancer, the chances of developing it are almost double. Two genes BRCA1 and BRCA2 are the carriers of the disease, and this testing can be done in women to identify if they are at risk.
- Family history of other cancers: Even if there is no breast cancer, if there are other cancers that run in the family, watch out.
- Age: Women over 50 are at higher risk of developing breast cancer.
- Race: Caucasian and Jewish women are at higher risk of breast cancer than African-American women.
- Hormones: Greater exposure to the female hormone estrogen increases the chances of developing breast cancer. Women who use birth control pills for contraception and hormone replacement after menopause are at a higher risk of developing breast cancer.
- Gynecologic milestones: Women who have abnormal menstrual milestones need to watch out. These include those who attain menarche before 12 years of age, get pregnant after 30, attain menopause after 55, and have menstrual cycles shorter than 26 days or longer than 29 days.
- Obesity and alcohol abuse are also likely to increase a woman’s chances of developing breast cancer.
Stages: Starting from stage 0, higher stages indicate advanced disease.
- Stage 0: The growth which has begun in the milk-producing tissue or the ducts has remained there (in situ) and not spread to any other area, including the rest of the breast.
- Stage I: The tissue slowly becomes invasive and has begun to affect the surrounding healthy tissue. It could have spread to the fatty breast tissue and some breast tissue may be found in the nearby lymph nodes.
- Stage II: The cancer at this stage grows considerably or spreads to other parts. There are chances that cancer may grow and also spread.
- Stage III: It may have spread to the bones or other organs but small amounts are present in up to 9 to 10 of the lymph nodes in the armpits and collar bones which makes it is difficult to fight.
- Stage IV: The cancer is widespread to far-flung areas like the liver, lungs, bones, and even the brain.
Screening: This is one of the most effective ways to identify the disease in its early stages. This will help in controlling cancer from spreading with minimal treatment.
- Self-examination: A thorough self-examination to look for changes in terms of shape, size, colour, contour, and firmness should be learned by all women. Watch for any discharge, sores, rashes, or swelling in the breasts, surrounding skin, and nipple. Examine them while standing and when lying down.
- In most women, annual screening mammograms are advised after the age of 40. However, in women who have a strong family history or genetic makeup, it is advisable to have screening mammograms starting at age 20 every 3 years and then annually from the age of 40.
- Women in high-risk categories should have screening mammograms every year and typically start at an earlier age.
- Ultrasound screening can also be given in addition to mammograms.
- Breast MRI is another way to screen for breast cancer if the risk is greater.
Breast Cancer Prevention: Now that there is so much awareness about causes and risk factors, there are definitely ways to prevent or delay the onset of the disease.
- Exercise and a healthy diet with reduced amount of alcohol are definitely effective in minimising the chances of developing cancer.
- Tamoxifen is used in women who are at high risk for breast cancer.
- Evista (raloxifene) which is used to treat osteoporosis after menopause. It is also widely used in preventing breast cancer.
- In high-risk women, breasts are surgically removed to prevent the development of cancer (preventive mastectomy).
Treatment: As with all cancers, treatment would depend on the stage at which it is identified and include a combination of chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery. As noted earlier, if you are at risk, look out for warning signs as early diagnosis is the key to maximum recovery.
Am 24 years old and facing disc bulge from past 4 years (L4, l5, l6) I have taken treatment with exercises, massages and Physio therapy. Which is best way to cure in a quick time.
I am 30 years old. Diagnosed with 11 % of vitamin D. Calcium and phosphate levels are also down. Besides cervical 6-7 disc have chronic black bulge. Pain in neck shoulder upper back. Also lumbar spine 4-5 also bulge. It is sending pain down till sole of feet. What is the treatment ways?
I am suffering from disk and Knee joint pains for the past 10 years I have already done panchakarma treatment. There is no result? What can I Do?
Breast cancer(स्तन कैंसर) is on the rise in india. Surveys show that every 4 out of 5 Indian women who have breast cancer, suffer from an advanced stage of the disease by the time they reach the doctor. Urban women are at two times more risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer than rural women. Being overweight, eating unhealthy food, and consuming excessive alcohol or tobacco are some of causes that can make you susceptible to this disease.
How you can avoid breast cancer?
- Every woman should do a self-breast examination every month after the periods. You should check for any abnormal lump, change in skin texture or any abnormal discharge from the nipples. Any abnormality above aspects should be promptly investigated by a doctor's appointment, and an ultrasound or Mammography, as required.
- Apart from self-examining your breasts every month for a lump, going for a mammography (an X-Ray of the breast) is vital for early detection of the problem.
- Consult a gynaecologist before going for the test as its frequency depends on your age and risk factor. About 80-90% of tumours can be traced through this screening.
Breast cancer may run in family. If there is no family history of breast cancer, you start doing mammogram at 40 yrs of age but if there is a family history you start even earlier as advised by your gynaecologist.
The symptoms caused due to herniated disc can be very severe and can also cause a bit of disability. The disc of the spine is like a cushion and separates the set of bones on the backside. The discs are shock absorbers of the spine and are mainly composed of 2 parts, a soft jelly centre called the nucleus and a tough outer covering called the annulus.
Effects of Herniated Disk
A herniated or cracked disc is a severe condition and it seems to happen most commonly in the lower back. It happens when a fraction of the soft centre gets pushed through the destabilized area due to degeneration, trauma or by putting pressure on the spinal cord.
Nerves are located precisely at the back of every disc and are responsible for controlling everything in our body. While a disc gets herniated, the external covering of the disc tears and creates a bulge. The soft jelly gets shifted from the centre of the disk to the region where the damage has occurred on the disc. Most commonly, the bulge occurs in areas where the nerve is located and it causes strain on the affected nerve. It has been observed that individuals do not feel any painful sensations even if their disc gets damaged.
When is Surgery Recommended for Herniated Disc?
Surgery for herniated disc is recommended only after options like pain relievers, exercise and non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs do not work. If the pain persists even after these options, then it becomes important to go for surgery. There are certain risks involved in this surgery like infection, bleeding or nerve damage.
There are chances that the disc may get ruptured again if it is not removed. If you are a patient suffering from degenerative disc disease, then there are chances that problem occurs in other discs. It is very important that a patient maintains healthy weight to prevent any further complications.
The main factor that increases the risk of herniated disc is excess body weight, which causes a lot of stress on the lower back. A few people become heir to a tendency of developing this condition. Even individuals with physically demanding jobs are prone to this condition.
Surgery for herniated disc is recommended only after options like pain relievers, exercise and non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs do not work. If the pain persists even after these options, then, needs to be removed as steroid injections is not advisable per se.
Activities like bending sideways, pushing, twisting, repetitive lifting can increase the risk of a herniated disk. At times, emergency surgery is also required to avoid paralysis in a patient.
I have L4, L5 disc bulging problem , some time it pains me that I am unable to move also , How to recover from this. Please help me out.
Did you know barley water is good for kidney stones?
Barley (jau), a member of grass family, is a cereal that has been cultivated for over 13, 000 years. Packed with carbohydrates (78%), fat (1%), protein (10%) and water (10%), barley is a rich source of essential nutrients, dietary fiber, vitamins such as niacin, manganese, phosphorus and vitamin B6.
With several health benefits to its name, barley water is termed as the elixir to good health. It has been found to be beneficial in reducing chances of heart disease, soothing bowels, reducing blood cholesterol levels, improving blood sugar regulation in the body and acts as nutritive broth for fever, cold and cough. Additionally, studies support that barley water has also been found to play an integral role in maintaining renal health.
What is a renal stone?
A renal stone is a solid stony piece consisting of crystal forming substances in the urinary tract. They are usually formed when the urine is abundant in substances such as calcium, oxalate and uric acid and lack substances that inhibit their accumulation. While small kidney stones can pass through the urinary system without any symptoms, a stone larger than 5 mm can result in blockages in the urinary tract causing severe pain in the back and lower abdomen.
What causes renal stones?
- A family history for stones, lack of adequate water in the body, high BMI, excessive intake of diets rich in protein, sodium and sugar have been found to be some of the common causes for stone formation.
Try protein foods &amp; supplements
- Medical conditions such as hyperthyroidism, inflammatory bowel syndrome and renal tubular acidosis have also been found to alter the digestion of calcium.
How does barley water aid the dissolution of renal stones?
Studies show that regular use of barley water can dissolve and eliminate existing kidney stones and prevent the occurrence of stones and other kidney problems. Use of diuretics either natural or synthetic can help speed up the expulsion of the stone.
Diuretic in nature, barley water helps to flush toxins from the kidneys by creating bladder pressure and increasing the frequency of urination.
- It helps maintain the PH levels in the body, making it alkaline, preventing various urinary tract issues, including kidney stones.
- The vitamin B6 and magnesium in barley helps break down the masses of toxic calcium oxalate (primary cause for stones) in the kidney.
Dietary fiber in barley reduces the amount of calcium that is excreted by the body through urine, restoring renal health and cleansing the kidneys.
Ways to prepare barley water:
- Boil 1 litre of water with a tablespoon of barley pearls and boil on a low flame for about 30 minutes or until the water has reduced to half.
- Strain and cool this mix and drink it through the day.
- Add lemon juice or honey to make the mix tasty
Regular use of barley water ensures that the renal system is hydrated, healthy and free of depositions such as renal stones. So, go ahead and add this elixir to your diet to ensure a healthy renal system and a healthier you. Eat healthy, stay healthy!
The thought of going under the knife to treat your spine problem may give rise to a range of emotions; make you ponder over a number of things such as the recovery period, procedure and techniques involved and so on. Nonetheless, before opting for the surgery, there are certain points that you should go over and these are:
- Be well aware of the cause of your pain - Identifying the cause that is behind your pain is vital in order to decide whether the surgery is going to prove beneficial in the long run or not. If the cause is not identified as the right one, the surgery may prove futile and you may not get the pain relief that you're looking for.
- Gather detailed information about your spine surgeon - Before visiting the spine surgeon, you should collect detailed information about the specialist so as to be able to come up with appropriate questions concerning the surgery. From questions concerning about the surgeon's success and complication rates, numbers of surgeries performed to qualifications of the surgeon, these and much more should be part of your evaluation process.
- Prepare yourself before a consultation - It's good to prepare yourself before a medical consultation. Whether it's researching about the surgery and your condition or being well aware of your family's medical history, or details about the pain that you experience, or your expectations from the surgery, every aspect should be covered so that you derive the maximum benefit from your meeting.
- Carry out your own research - Carrying out your own research on the alternatives before opting for the surgery can put you on a better footing. It's imperative to compare the opinion put forward by the surgeon from genuine sources so that you're better able to understand the merits and demerits of the treatment. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an Orthopedist.
I am 39 years my weight is 95 kg, my height is 5.4, I have ligament tear in my right knee, I have slip disc in l4, l5, high bp. Etc, please suggest how to loose weight. Rapidly fast if any medicine that can help to reduce the weight.
Hello Doctor I have degenerative disc disease after a fall down a flight of stairs in 2013. I sometimes have difficulty in breathing while asleep at night and develop colds frequently, is this due to the lumbar fracture? Also is inability to fill bladder a symptom of disc injury? Thank you for your time Doctor.
I am 46 year old I have slip discs problem in l-4, l-5 it is curebel? and what should I do to get my self cure in this regards.
Lung cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in one or both lungs. These abnormal cells do not carry out the functions of normal lung cells and do not develop into healthy lung tissue. As they grow, the abnormal cells can form tumors and interfere with the functioning of the lung, which provides oxygen to the body via the blood.
Lung cancer is the most common cause of death due to cancer in both men and women throughout the world. According to the U.S. National Cancer Institute, approximately one out of every 14 men and women in the U.S. is diagnosed with cancer of the lung at some point in their lifetime. Lung cancer is predominantly a disease of the elderly; almost 70% of people diagnosed with lung cancer are over 65 years of age, while less than 3% of lung cancers occur in people under 45 years of age.
What Causes Lung Cancer?
The development of lung cancer is strongly associated with cigarette smoking, approximately 90% of lung cancers are attributable to use of tobacco. Pipe and cigar smoking can also cause lung cancer, but the risk is not as high as with cigarette smoking. Tobacco smoke contains more than 4,000 chemical compounds, many of which are cancer causing (carcinogens). Passive smoking, i.e. the inhalation of tobacco smoke by non-smokers who live or work with smokers, is also an established risk factor for the development of lung cancer.
Genetic susceptibility (i.e. family history) may play a role in the development of lung cancer. Other causes of lung cancer include air pollution (from vehicles, industry, and power generation) and inhalation of asbestos fibres (usually in the workplace).
Lung Cancer Symptoms:
Early symptoms and signs of lung cancer:
There may be no symptoms at the onset of the disease. When present, common symptoms of lung cancer may include:
- Coughing: This includes a persistent cough that doesn't go away or changes to a chronic smoker's cough, such as more coughing or pain.
- Coughing up blood: Coughing up blood or rust-colored sputum (spit or phlegm) should always be discussed with your doctor.
- Breathing Difficulties: Shortness of breath, wheezing or noisy breathing (called stridor) may all be signs of lung cancer.
- Loss of Appetite: Many cancers cause changes in appetite, which may lead to unintended weight loss.
- Fatigue: It is common to feel weak or excessively tired.
- Recurring infections: Recurring infections, like bronchitis or pneumonia, may be one of the signs of lung cancer.
Signs of advanced stages of lung cancer: Advanced stages of lung cancer are often characterized by the spread of cancer to distant sites in the body. This may affect the bones, liver or brain. As other parts of the body are affected, new lung cancer symptoms may develop, including:
- Bone pain
- Swelling of the face, arms or neck
- Headaches, dizziness or limbs that become weak or numb
- Lumps in the neck or collar-bone region
Treatment: Treatment for cancer involves a combination of surgery to remove cancer cells, chemotherapy and radiation therapy to kill cancer cells. Lung cancer is incurable unless complete surgical removal of the tumour cells can be achieved. Surgery is the most effective treatment for lung cancer, but only a few percentage of lung cancers are suitable for surgery i.e. Stage I and II NSCLC and cancer that has not spread beyond the lung.
Radiation therapy may be used for both NSCLC and SCLC and is a good option for people who are not suitable for surgery or who refuse surgery. Chemotherapy is used for both NSCLC and SCLC. Chemotherapy drugs may be given alone or in combination with surgery or radiation therapy. Chemotherapy is the treatment of first choice for SCLC since it has usually spread extensively in the body by the time it has been diagnosed.
Also used in the treatment of lung cancer are targeted therapies. These are drugs (gefitinib and erlotinib) or antibodies (cetuximab, bevacizumab) that block the growth and spread of cancer by interfering with specific molecules involved in tumor growth and progression. They are used in some patients with NSCLC that does not respond to standard chemotherapy.
My wife is suffering from slip disc in spine after mri doctor diagnosis that she also suffering bone tb with unbearable pain in lower portion. Now as per doctor advice completely she is in bed rest. Now she cannot able to stand. Kindly advice.
Most commonly known as a military neck a straight or forward curve of the neck is abnormal and may cause an unkind progression of symptoms leading ultimately to cervical disk degeneration.
Reversal of cervical lordosis explained
The anatomy of the neck features a lordotic curvature in its typical and healthy state. This means that the cervical region has a gentle curvature with the open end of that curve facing the rear of the body. The base and top of the curve will be further posterior than the mid point, which will be further anterior.
When the lordosis is straightened, the neck becomes more upright and linear. This is more common than the next progression of atypical curvature, which is the subject of this article.
Actual reversal of curvature means that part or all of the cervical spine develops a kyphotic profile, with the open end of the curve facing anteriorly. Usually, this reversal is extremely mild, but is still very abnormal. What we now see is the middle of the curve being positioned posterior to the top and bottom.
In essence, picture the letter c and now turn it backwards: This is the shape of a reversed cervical lordosis.
Reversal of cervical lordosis causes
The spinal curvature in the neck is constantly in flux to some degree.
Congenital conditions and developmental conditions can have lasting effects on the natural degree of curvature typically demonstrated from patient to patient. These circumstances may be explainable due to injury or degeneration, or may be idiopathic:
Scoliosis can affect the normal lordotic curvature in the neck.
Cervical spondylolisthesis is a major source of reversed lordotic curvature.
Severe disc pathologies can facilitate a gradual loss or reversal of cervical lordosis.
Vertebral irregularities, such as wedging, can definitely contribute to lordotic alteration.
Traumatic injury, including vertebral fracture, can create the ideal circumstances for a reversal of lordosis to take place.
Severe neck muscle spasms can actually reshape the spinal curves, although these are usually temporary expressions and not actual structural conditions.
Effects of reversal of cervical lordosis
The neck is designed to curve in order to balance the spine, absorb stress, distribute force and provide proper movement of the head. When this curvature is diminished or reversed, symptoms may result, although this is not an inherent part of any altered lordotic condition.
Patients may experience stiffness and tension in the neck. Pain may be present and may even be severe in rare cases. Neurological dysfunction is possible in extreme cases, since the neuroforamen might not align properly, thereby causing a cervical pinched nerve.
In the worst circumstances, central spinal stenosis in the neck might affect the viability of the spinal cord, possible enacting the most dire of symptoms throughout the body.
Patients will also be more prone to injury, since the normal shock absorption qualities of the typical curvature have been lost.
While all these effects are certainly possible, they are not usual. In fact, a great majority of patients have minor symptoms or even no symptoms at all from mild reversed lordotic curvatures.
The pathology leading to a neck curve reversal (cervical kyphosis shown below right) may be inspired by a multitude of conditions as follows:
Post head injury
Poor sitting/working postures
Congenital spinal curvatures
Degenerative cervical discs (a form of osteoarthritis that can either be the cause of or the result of a cervical kyphosis)
Compression fracture of vertebral body
Infection of the cervical spine
Anatomy: straight vs. Curved
I've always heard that it was good to stand up straight.
stand upright, stick your chest out and hold your shoulders back! otherwise you're going get widows hump.
Are these expressions as familiar to you as they are to me? one might think that having a curved neck goes against what we heard from parents and teachers as we were growing up, but the reality is that there is a little bit a truth in both. Maintaining good posture throughout our lives is crucial to both the health of our spine and vital organs. On the contrary, a special type of curve called a lordosis is a good thing, both in the neck and lower back.
When we look at a person from the back their spine should be truly straight, so that the left and right sides of one's body is symmetrical. However, when we view a person from the side, the front and back of their body is different and this is reflected in a coinciding curvature of the spine. Both the lower back and neck are hollowed out (concave) and the mid or thoracic spine is protrudes (convex). Thus there is an alternation of curves functioning to provide stability, shock absorption and aid in propulsion. A straight spine would be very stiff and not flexible. Imagine the plight of a pole vaulter with an inflexible pole.
Nature's design of our spine and rib cage facilitates breathing and offers protective and supportive framework for vital organs. Spinal disks are shock absorbers and because they are in the front of the spine, lordotic curvatures keep them from having to bear weight. Kyphosis or loss of such curvatures bears weight upon the disks, leading to their ultimate degeneration. This process of deterioration is a form of osteoarthritis and in the spine is known as degenerative spondylosis.
Although most physiotherapists or conservative orthopedists can recognize a cervical curve reversal upon viewing the patient's posture, a definitive diagnosis may be obtained via a standing lateral (side view) x-ray of the neck. Cause can often be determined by corroborating a comprehensive history, a thorough examination, x-rays and questions about sleep, work and lifestyle.
In my professional career I found that the majority of young adults presenting with cervical kyphosis either had a whiplash or were stomach sleepers from an early age. For desk jockeys 40-60 years of age, many hours of sitting with their head flexed forward almost dictates the fate of developing kyphosis. In prior years I considered cervical kyphosis a job hazard for the careers of accountants, attorneys and often teachers because of years spent with their head in a book or paperwork. However, the digital age offers some relief in that respect. A well-planned, ergonomically-friendly office can do wonders for protecting the spine in the sedentary worker.
Treatment for cervical curve reversal (kyphosis)
During my chiropractic practice I had the opportunity to note a good percentage of correction toward a more normal lordosis (noted on x-ray) for 70% of patients under my care. This was almost always consistent with those patients that followed all recommendations and were model participants in their own care. Here is the recommended treat plan:
Spinal manipulation of stiff and fixated spinal segments by a qualified physio
Flexibility exercises for flexion and extension of cervical spine
Resistance exercises for flexors and extensors of the neck
Learn the Alexander technique for maintaining good posture (hint: the basic philosophy is to sit and stand like you were hanging by a string from the vertex of your skull. Liken it to a puppet on a string).
Elimination of stomach sleeping
Avoid standing on your head, although some yoga postures may be beneficial
Use of orthopedic neck pillow while sleeping.