Made-up of an intricate network of muscles, bones, vertebrae, discs, and ligaments, the spine is one of the most complex structures in the human body and is quite literally the backbone of our anatomy. As with everything else in the human body, the bones in the spine are prone to deterioration over time due to the tension and stress that they endure, and added to this is the fact that, since it’s a narrow column filled with sensitive nerve tissue, any change in the structural integrity of the spine can affect the spinal nerves, thus making a degenerative spine diagnosis a serious but not an uncommon condition.
Here are some examples of the most Common Degenerative Spine conditions
Akin to arthritis in hands, this condition of the spine is caused by degeneration of the cartilage in the spinal joints, which causes the bones to grind against each other, resulting in inflammation, nerve irritation, and development of bony lumps
Degenerative Disc Disease
Caused by a depression on nerves that connect vertebrae, or on the spinal cord itself, this condition is a result of a displaced disc that happens when the intervertebral discs dehydrate and lose regenerative proteins as a result of old age and, in some cases, trauma.
Essentially a misalignment of the vertebral column, this condition happens when one of the vertebral bodies slides out of its normal position in the natural the “S”-curve of the spinal column that helps distribute the weight evenly.
This is a spine condition in which the backbone of the patient curves to the either side, instead of running straight down the middle. This curvature may be small or large, but anything greater than 10 degrees is generally considered scoliosis. While this condition is typically associated with adolescence, it can actually develop at any age.
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Commonly a result of osteoarthritis, this condition is symptomized by the development of bony knobs on the spine, which can cause complications, or at least intense pain, when they come in contact with a nearby nerve. In addition to arthritis, this condition can also be a result of an injury.
This condition occurs when the passages through which nerves enter the spinal canal becomes too narrow, resulting in nerve irritation which can manifest as a general discomfort in areas which can be seemingly unrelated to the spine.
A consequence of acute pressure on the spinal nerves by the surrounding tissues, bones, cartilage, muscles or tendons, which disrupts the nerve’s functioning, this condition can be a result of a herniated disk in the lower spine. Often symptomized by a pain, tingling sensation, numbness or weakness, this condition can often be treated by rest within a few days or weeks.
Caused by an inflammation in or the irritation of the sciatic nerve (that originates at the base of the spinal cord and extends to the feet), this condition can cause pain in one side of the leg and is typically worse when sitting.While the symptoms are generally painful, permanent sciatic nerve damage is rare.
Spinal diseases tend to be very painful, to say the least about them – it’s a good thing that they are entirely unavoidable. Of course, with age there will be some wear and tear in the anatomical components of your spine, making you less flexible and more prone to neck and back pain, but this isn’t something to be worried about. However, when symptoms are so bad as to your day-to-day life, you should seek medical counsel.