Our back (spine) is the most amazing part of our body, acting as a central anchor. Still having excellent movements protects the spinal cord and nerves within, gives stability and protection to the chest and abdominal vital structures and allows free but controlled movements of hands and legs.
Spine is made up of 25 individual segments called vertebrae and intervening discs. They protect the spinal cord which connects the brain to the whole of the body.
Both men and women can develop problems in spine from birth due to various causes. Symptoms are of two kinds-from spinal bony column and the spinal cord and nerves.
Symptoms from spine could vary from deformities to pain, swelling, instability, weakness of legs and hands, numbness in legs and hands and disturbance in the control of urine and motions.
Problems could start at birth due to birth defects in the formation of the spine causing deformity, or can start at adolescence due to progressive abnormal growth causing cosmetic deformity. When the deformity is too much, in addition to ugly looks, that can compress the lungs, heart and spinal cord. These must be identified early and corrected by simple surgery as the risks of paralysis by surgery are too high when the deformity is more and rigid.
In the middle age, the pain in the back (neck, mid-back and lower-back) is the most common symptom. Bad postures, lack of exercise, abnormal physical and psychological stress are the causes for the pain. However, pain due to other causes like fibromyalgia, slip disc, infections like tuberculosis, tumours like lymphoma must be ruled out with investigations.
Post menopausal women are at high risk of developing back pain and sometimes pathological fractures of spine due to osteoporosis. They need regular evaluation with blood tests and “DEXA” scan to prevent osteoporosis as it is easy to prevent than treat established osteoporosis.
During further old age, in both women and men, people get symptoms from spine due to secondary deposits of tumours arising somewhere else in the body. Earliest identification and treatment reduces suffering from and complications including death.
Trauma to spine from road traffic accidents, fall from height and sports injuries can occur in any age group causing problems and suffering through life.
The diagnosis can be achieved by analysis of symptoms, blood tests, X-Rays, CT, MRI scans, wholebody scans and others. Treatment includes postural advice, regular exercise, weight reduction, diet, physiotherapy, external braces and sometimes surgical treatment.
Hence early diagnosis and initiation of prompt treatment is very important in preventing suffering from back.
Jane and I wanted to thank you so much for the care you and your colleagues took of Jane whist in Mauritius. Everything went well and Prakash did a great job of getting us to your clinic and back over the 6 dialysis days. We had a wonderful holiday and our children and grandchildren plus the other family all enjoyed it enormously. Best wishes to you all
Andrew and Jane Stewart