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Vertebra Tips

Backache-2 Know your back: It's Structure and Functions

Dr. N C Gupta 92% (16192 ratings)
MBBS, MS - Orthopaedics
Orthopedist, Delhi
Backache-2  Know your back: It's Structure and Functions

Human back is an amazing example of biological engineering. It provides the basic framework on which the skull, Ribs, Pelvis, and shoulder bones are attached. Can we imagine the human shape without a backbone? We would have looked like a gunny bag filled with some putty like material and would have had no shape of our own. It would have been impossible to lift or carry any object from one place to another.

When we speak of back, we usually mean spinal column which is extending from the back of the skull to pelvis in a graceful yet extremely strong double S shaped curve. This natural architectural masterpiece of human skeleton consists of 33 blocks of bones called vertebra. They are given different names according to the region of the spine they belong to.


In the neck, they are called cervical vertebra.

In the upper back (Chest) they are called Dorsal vertebra.

In the lower back, they are called Lumbar vertebra.

In the tail bone, they are called Coccyx

The vertebrae are hollow structures. The hollow of all vertebrae put together makes a long tunnel through which the tail of the brain (spinal cord) runs. The width of the spinal canal is almost equal to the thickness of a finger.

Vertebra resembles a house in shape and functions.

As a house protects its residents, so does the vertebra protects the spinal cord.

8 people found this helpful

Kyphoplasty In The Management Of Osteporosis!

Dr. Shailesh Jain 85% (13 ratings)
MBBS, MCh, MS
Neurosurgeon, Delhi
Kyphoplasty In The Management Of Osteporosis!

Osteoporosis is a skeletal disorder, which causes fragility of bones. In the absence of proper prevention and treatment modalities, osteoporosis can cause a painless progression and subsequent fractures. Such fractures (broken bones) mostly occur in the hip, spine, or wrist. As per several past data-driven studies conducted in the United States of America, 1.5 million new fractures are witnessed in people with osteoporosis every year. Of these, spine fractures are seen in 700,000; hip fractures in 300,000; wrist fractures in 250,000; and fractures of other bones in 250,000 people.

Possible Causes of Osteoporosis

  1. Hormonal imbalances Pregnancy
  2. Metabolic diseases Cancer
  3. Age beyond 60-65 years
  4. Symptoms of Osteoporosis-Induced Compression Fractures
  5. Significant upper or lower back pain
  6. Changes in posture
  7. Difficulty with breathing and digestion
  8. Decreased ability to walk
  9. An overall decrease in the quality of life Increased tendency for fracture of adjacent vertebrae

Treatment

Compression fractures are usually managed with pain medications; narcotic pain medicines are administered for a few months until the pain decreases. Also, few available medications are known to increase the bone density. It is hoped that by building the bone density, future fractures can be prevented. Another method is immobilization of the spine with a brace that helps decrease pain from a broken vertebra; however, such braces are helpful only for the fractures of the lower back.

Role of Kyphoplasty in the Management of Osteoporosis

Kyphoplasty is a procedure that involves a new technology whereby an osteoporotic compression fracture can be treated with relief in pain, restoration of the lost bone height, and immediate stabilization of the fracture with the injection of bone cement.

How is kyphoplasty done?

The procedure is carried out via two A½’’ incisions on each side of the affected vertebra. The technique utilizes X-ray equipment to place working tools into the collapsed vertebra. This step is followed by an insertion of an inflatable bone tamp or expander into the fractured vertebra on each side, after which, the balloons are slowly inflated, lifting up the fractured portion of the vertebra to a more normal height. The balloons are then deflated, and cement is slowly injected. Excellent restoration of fractures, which are less than 4-6 months old and better than 90% success at reducing pain associated with the broken vertebra, is seen with kyphoplasty.

Which patients can benefit from kyphoplasty?

  1. Patients with a recent vertebral compression fracture due to osteoporosis
  2. Patients with fractures which are less than 4 months old
  3. Patients with fractures who are on chronic prednisone or steroids
  4. Complications from this procedure have been primarily related to patients who have been on blood thinner medications.
  5. Potential complications also include cement leaking out of the vertebra and into inappropriate areas.
1 person found this helpful

What is Ankylosing Spondylitis?

Dr. Nilesh Nolkha 91% (422 ratings)
DM - Rheumatology, MD - General Medicine
Rheumatologist, Mumbai
What is Ankylosing Spondylitis?

एंकिलॉज़िंग स्पॉन्डिलाइटिस (Ankylosing spondylitis – AS) क्या है ?

एंकिलॉज़िंग (Ankylosing) का अर्थ होता है – जुड़ाव (फ्यूज़न) (Fusion ) |

स्पॉन्डिलाइटिस (spondylitis) का अर्थ होता है – स्पाइन (Spine) या रीड क़ी हडडी के मनकों की सूजन (inflammation) |

एंकिलॉज़िंग स्पॉन्डिलाइटिस एक ऐसा रोग है जो पीठ, गर्दन, और कभी कभी कूल्हों और एड़ी में दर्द और जकडन का कारण बनता है | यह एक प्रकार का वात या गठिया रोग है (Gathiya / vaat rog), जिसे आर्थराइटिस (arthritis)भी कहा जाता है। 

अमूमन यह मान्यता होती है की गठिया रोग बुढापे का रोग है | रहेयूमेटोलोजी (Rheumatology) एक ऐसा मेडिकल फिल्ड है जिसमे अनेक प्रकार के गठिया रोगों का समावेश होता है |रह्युमेटोलॉजिस्ट (Rheumatologist) एक ऐसा डॉक्टर होता है, जो इन गठिया रोगों के प्रकार का पता लगाकर इनका इलाज (treatment) करते हैं। ऐसे बहुत सारे गठिया रोग या वात रोग हैं जो किसी को अल्पायु में ही ग्रसित कर सकते हैं। AS ऐसा रोग है। 

एंकिलॉज़िंग स्पॉन्डिलाइटिस वात रीढ़ की हड्डी ( spine vertebra) के आसपास या कुछ जोड़ों (joint) में सूजन के साथ शुरू होता है  । यह किशोर या वयस्क अवस्था के युवक या युवतियों (ज्यादात्तर युवको) को ग्रसित करता है । इस रोग की शुरुआत बचपन में भी हो सकती है। कभी कभी, इस बिमारी से रीढ़ की हड्डियों का एक साथ फ्यूज़न (fusion) या जुड़ाव हो सकता है  |

7 people found this helpful

Spondylitis

Mr. Wajid Mohammed 91% (582 ratings)
D.P.T
Physiotherapist, Hyderabad
Spondylitis

What Is Spondylolisthesis?

Spondylolisthesis is a spinal condition that affects the lower vertebrae (spinal bones). This disease causes one of the lower vertebras to slip forward onto the bone directly beneath it. This is a painful condition, but it is treatable in most cases. Both therapeutic and surgical methods may be used. Proper exercise techniques can help you avoid this condition.

Symptoms of Spondylolisthesis

The symptoms of spondylolisthesis vary. People with mild cases may not have any symptoms. However, people with severe cases may be unable to perform daily activities. Some of the most common symptoms are:

  • persistent lower back pain
  • stiffness in your back and legs
  • lower back tenderness
  • thigh pain
  • tight hamstring and buttock muscles

Treating Spondylolisthesis

The treatment for spondylolisthesis depends on your severity of pain and vertebra slippage. Nonsurgical treatments can help ease pain and encourage the bone to go back into place. It's important to avoid contact sports during the healing process.

Common nonsurgical treatment methods include:

  • wearing a back brace
  • doing physical therapy exercises
  • taking over-the-counter or prescription anti-inflammatory drugs (such as ibuprofen) to reduce pain
  • using epidural steroid injections
1 person found this helpful

Spinal Fusion Surgery - Know Its Surgical Procedure!

Dr. Shailesh Jain 85% (13 ratings)
MBBS, MCh, MS
Neurosurgeon, Delhi
Spinal Fusion Surgery - Know Its Surgical Procedure!

Spinal fusion surgery is also known as spondylodesis or spondylosyndesis. It is a surgical procedure in which two or more vertebrae are permanently joined into one solid bone with no space between them. The procedure aims at preventing the movement between two bones and prevents back pain. It can be performed at any level in the spine (cervical, thoracic, or lumbar).

Indications

  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Lumbar spondylolisthesis ( a condition where one vertebra slips onto the vertebra below it causing severe pain)
  • Fractures
  • Unstable spinal column
  • Tumors
  • Severe arthritis Infections
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Scoliosis (curvature of the spine)
  • Kyphosis (abnormal rounding of the upper spine)

When Does An Individual Need This Surgery?

Spinal fusion surgery is required if medicines, physical therapy, and other treatments (like steroid injections) do not relieve the back pain.

Types of Spinal Fusion

  1. Anterior spinal fusion
  2. Posterior spinal fusion
  3. Vertebral interbody fusion

Preparation for Spinal Fusion Surgery

  1. Preoperative preparation
  2. Preoperatively, 8-hour fasting is required. All the routine investigations, including blood tests, and X- rays are done.

Surgical procedure

The surgery is performed under general anesthesia. A bone graft (ie, a synthetic bone or a small piece of the patient’s pelvic bone) is prepared to fuse the two vertebrae. Depending on the location of fusion, the graft is placed accordingly between the affected vertebras to join them. Once the graft is put in place; plates, screws, and rods are used to keep the spine from moving. This maneuver is called internal fixation. It provides stability and helps the spine to heal faster with a higher rate of success.

Postoperative

Postoperatively, the patient may need to wear a brace to keep the spine in proper alignment. Fusing may take up to 6 weeks or longer, after which normal activities can be resumed. Physical rehabilitation is required to strengthen the back and learn ways to move safely. Complete recovery takes about 3-6 months.

Complications

  • Infections causing inflammation of the affected parts
  • Poor healing causing pain
  • Pain at the site of the fused area, especially nerve pain
  • Heart attack or stroke during a spinal surgery
  • Reactions to medications or anesthesia
  • Respiratory problems
  • Damage to a spinal nerve leading to weakness, pain, bowel, or bladder problems
  • Blood clots in the legs that can be life-threatening if they travel to the lungs
  • Blood loss
  • Pseudoarthrosis (nonunion between fused bone segments)

Warning Signs of Infection

  1. Swelling, redness, or discharge from the operated site
  2. Fever above 100 0F
  3. Shaking chills
  4. Increased pain 

Safe and faster recovery from spinal surgery is suggested through physical therapy.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2639 people found this helpful

Sciatica - 10 Effective Homeopathic Remedies For It!

Sciatica - 10 Effective Homeopathic Remedies For It!

The longest nerve in the body is the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve starts from the lower part of the spine, through your hip to the back of the leg. So when it is said sciatica, we refer to pain in this nerve. Since the nerve covers the spine, hip and leg, sciatic pain is felt in the areas through which it passes. The lower leg muscles and sensation in the legs, thighs and feet are controlled by this nerve.

Symptoms usually include:

  1. Pain that radiates from the lower back to the hip and to the leg
  2. Sharp, tingling, dull, constant or burning pain
  3. Loss of bladder or bowel control
  4. Sneezing or coughing increases pain
  5. Moving the leg gets difficult so usual activities like walking, sitting and standing become painful

Homeopathic remedies are easy and gentle on the body. Homeopathy aims to boost the body's immune system so it can fight all its weaknesses. The following remedies may prove to be useful:

  1. Ammonium Muriaticum: It is taken for chronic pain in the heel or for chronic backache or when straightening the knee gets difficult as hamstrings contract. It is also taken for limping.
  2. Bellis Perennis: In periosteum injuries, stiffness and deep aches in the spine Bellis Perennis is used. It is also used for tailbone injuries. It is also helpful for nerve pains during pregnancy.
  3. Calcarea Fluorica: If the vertebra degenerates after trauma to the spine, then Calcarea Fluorica can be useful.
  4. Cicuta: The worst back injuries with serious trauma and muscles spasms are treated with Cicuta.
  5. Bellis Perennis: In periosteum injuries, stiffness and deep aches in the spine Bellis Perennis is used. It is also used for tailbone injuries. It is also helpful for nerve pains during pregnancy.
  6. Calcarea Fluorica: If the vertebra degenerates after trauma to the spine, then Calcarea Fluorica can be useful.
  7. Cicuta: The worst back injuries with serious trauma and muscles spasms are treated with Cicuta.
  8. Hypericum: Hypericum is suggested for tailbone injuries, temporary paralysis, spinal concussions and for sharp pain that tingles and moves upwards.
  9. Rhus tox: If after lifting weights, overexerting muscles and exposure to anything wet, you feel tearing and burning pain, then Rhus tox is beneficial. Cramps that get better after heat application, but get worse after exposed to the cold are also treated with Rhus tox.
  10. Ruta: Stiffness and pain from back injuries, twisting the wrong way and bruises are prescribed with Ruta.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

5222 people found this helpful

3 Causes Of Lower Back Pain And Its Symptoms!

Dr. Sonu Singh 90% (299 ratings)
MD - Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Post-Graduate Diploma In Rheumatology, Post-Graduate Diploma In Sports Injury Rehabilitation, MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, Certified Posture Specialist
Pain Management Specialist, Delhi
3 Causes Of Lower Back Pain And Its Symptoms!

Lower back pain is characterized by a feeling of pain around the lumbar region (curve of the back connecting the upper back and glutes- muscles in the buttock that are responsible for thigh movement) caused by muscle or ligament injury. The spinal area is most likely to be affected by lower pain as it may impair routine activities like walking and standing. Any lower back pain that lasts for more than ninety days can be considered as chronic.

Causes of lower back pain

There are plenty of causes for lower back pain. Anything that exposes the lumbar area of the spine to a level of stress beyond its capacity can cause lower back pain. These causes are-

1. Disorders of the discs - The spinal area in the lower back comprises of small bones called the vertebra, which are connected to each other by pieces of cartilage known as discs. These discs act as shock absorbers, and when exposed to excessive shock can cause the disc to bulge, resulting in herniated discs. Wear and tear of the discs can also occur.


2. Spinal stenosis - Spinal stenosis occurs when the area around the spine becomes narrow. It may affect the nerves surrounding the lower back, resulting in pain.

3. Wear and tear of the joints and ligaments - Normal wear and tear of the joints and ligaments cause difficulties in holding the spine in its proper position and this progresses with age. This may cause a vertebra to slide over another and affect the nerve endings, giving rise to pain.

Symptoms of lower back pain

The symptoms of lower back pain are usually a dull or excruciating pain in the lower back. It can also affect other parts of the body such as the hips and the legs. In case of severe pain, simple activities like walking, bending and sitting will be impaired.

Reasons Behind The Lumbar Disk Pain

Dr. Shyam Bhairi 92% (60 ratings)
MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
Orthopedist, Hubli-Dharwad
Reasons Behind The Lumbar Disk Pain

There are many structures in the lumbar spine that can cause pain. Any kind of trouble to the nerves and veins that goes through the spine, joint issues, the disks themselves, the bones and the muscles - would all be able to act as a cause behind the pain.

Numerous lumbar spine conditions are interrelated. For instance, an unstable joint can lead to disk degeneration, which can put weight on the nerve roots and cause the disk to collapse at times. The following are the main reasons behind the lumbar disk pain:

  1. Problems in the muscles: The biggest reason behind lumbar disk pain is muscle strain or other muscle issues. Strain because of truly difficult work, twisting, or different activities that can put pressure on your spine like heavy lifting, cause the disk to rupture or slip at times.
  2. Disk degeneration: Intervertebral disks are pads that are spongy and act as shock absorbers. This can cause pain in your disk. This condition can be referred to with many names, however, is famously known as degenerative disk disease.
  3. Lumbar Disk Herniation: Herniated disks are most common reasons behind the lumbar disk pain. A herniated disk may be caused all of a sudden because of damage to the spine or truly difficult work or happen gradually as a form of general wear and tear in the spine. Leg pain (sciatica) is the most widely recognized symptom of a herniated disk.
  4. Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction: The sacroiliac joint, which attaches to the base of the lumbar spine and the tip of the tailbone, can cause lumbar disk pain or even sciatic pain if there is any kind of fracture in the joint that allows for movement or rather, limits any particular movement.
  5. Spondylolisthesis: Spondylolisthesis happens when one vertebra slips behind the other or underneath it. The slip most normally happens in the lower lumbar vertebrae (e.g. L4 –L5 or L5 – S1). In case that the slipped vertebra presses the nerve root at that point, it can bring about shooting leg pain and gradually foot pain as well.

There are certain ways in which this problem can be treated to a certain extent. These methods are as follows:

  1. Common medications: Muscle relaxants. This solution works as an anti-depressant of the nervous system and expands as well as relaxes the tense muscles, easing pain from muscle stiffness or fits
  2. Back supports: A few patients find that a back support can be used to bring comfort and gradually diminish the pain. There is some proof that using a brace every day, can speed up the healing process and lessen the pain. A back support may likewise be useful after back surgery.
  3. Back Braces: Epidural steroid infusion. This infusion includes a steroid inserted specifically into the external piece of the dural sac, which surrounds the spinal chord. An x-ray, called fluoroscopy, is utilized to control the needle in the right area. The objective of the infusion is to soothe the pain by decreasing irritation around a compressed nerve root.

Chronic Lower Back Pain - Causes And Symptoms

Dr. Siva Prasad 92% (937 ratings)
MBBS ,MD
Pain Management Specialist, Hyderabad
Chronic Lower Back Pain - Causes And Symptoms

Lower back pain is characterized by a feeling of pain around the lumbar region (curve of the back connecting the upper back and glutes- muscles in the buttock that are responsible for thigh movement) caused by muscle or ligament injury. The spinal area is most likely to be affected by lower pain as it may impair routine activities like walking and standing. Any lower back pain that lasts for more than ninety days can be considered as chronic.

Causes of lower back pain

There are plenty of causes for lower back pain. Anything that exposes the lumbar area of the spine to a level of stress beyond its capacity can cause lower back pain. These causes are-

1. Disorders of the discs - The spinal area in the lower back comprises of small bones called the vertebra, which are connected to each other by pieces of cartilage known as discs. These discs act as shock absorbers, and when exposed to excessive shock can cause the disc to bulge, resulting in herniated discs. Wear and tear of the discs can also occur.


2. Spinal stenosis - Spinal stenosis occurs when the area around the spine becomes narrow. It may affect the nerves surrounding the lower back, resulting in pain.

3. Wear and tear of the joints and ligaments - Normal wear and tear of the joints and ligaments cause difficulties in holding the spine in its proper position and this progresses with age. This may cause a vertebra to slide over another and affect the nerve endings, giving rise to pain.

Symptoms of lower back pain

The symptoms of lower back pain are usually a dull or excruciating pain in the lower back. It can also affect other parts of the body such as the hips and the legs. In case of severe pain, simple activities like walking, bending and sitting will be impaired.

Treatment

The treatment options are based on source of pain - ranges from physiotherapy to medication to nerve root injections or keyhole endoscopic discectomy under local anesthesia, as a day care procedure. Open surgery is the last resort.

4100 people found this helpful

The Causes and Symptoms of Chronic Lower Back Pain

Dr. Gautam Das 92% (2247 ratings)
MD, FIPP
Pain Management Specialist, Kolkata
The Causes and Symptoms of Chronic Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain is characterized by a feeling of pain around the lumbar region (curve of the back connecting the upper back and glutes- muscles in the buttock that are responsible for thigh movement) caused by muscle or ligament injury. The spinal area is most likely to be affected by lower pain as it may impair routine activities like walking and standing. Any lower back pain that lasts for more than ninety days can be considered as chronic.

Causes of lower back pain

There are plenty of causes for lower back pain. Anything that exposes the lumbar area of the spine to a level of stress beyond its capacity can cause lower back pain. These causes are-

1. Disorders of the discs - The spinal area in the lower back comprises of small bones called the vertebra, which are connected to each other by pieces of cartilage known as discs. These discs act as shock absorbers, and when exposed to excessive shock can cause the disc to bulge, resulting in herniated discs. Wear and tear of the discs can also occur.

2. Spinal stenosis - Spinal stenosis occurs when the area around the spine becomes narrow. It may affect the nerves surrounding the lower back, resulting in pain.


3. Wear and tear of the joints and ligaments - Normal wear and tear of the joints and ligaments cause difficulties in holding the spine in its proper position and this progresses with age. This may cause a vertebra to slide over another and affect the nerve endings, giving rise to pain.

Symptoms of lower back pain

The symptoms of lower back pain are usually a dull or excruciating pain in the lower back. It can also affect other parts of the body such as the hips and the legs. In case of severe pain, simple activities like walking, bending and sitting will be impaired.

'Consult'.

Related Tip: Long Hours Of Sitting? Try This Permanent Relief From Back Pain

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