Giving your body its distinct structure and support, the spine is essential in ensuring the mobility and flexibility of the different parts of the body. Also, it protects the spinal cord – a column of nerves that connects the brain to the rest of the body and is responsible for making sure that you can control your movementsEnquire Now
As our lifestyles become more sedentary and many people work office jobs in which they have to sit for long periods, bad posture has become the leading cause of back pain.
Spine injuries are considered one of the most serious and debilitating as they have the potential to impact other areas and functions of the body. In serious cases, they can result in permanent damage or changes to body strength and sensation. In general, risk factors of spine injuries include:
Common injuries of the Spine:
Degenerative Disc Disease
As one gets older (starting from late 30s), the spinal intervertebral discs start drying up and lose the ability to support the body’s weight, especially in bending movements. This can result in mechanical back pain, which worsens with activity and prolonged standing/sitting. Patients may also experience stiffness in the back, which may worsen during coughing or sneezing.
The intervertebral disc comprises of a central component called the nucleus pulposus, contained by a tough capsule known as the annulus fibrosus. Certain traumatic conditions like sudden lifting of heavy weights can cause the nucleus pulposus to be pushed through its annulus fibrosus, resulting in a herniation or what is commonly known as “slipped disc” or disc prolapse. Consequently, this can impinge on the nerve root, causing a sensation of pain to radiate down the limb on the affected side.
Facet Joint Arthropathy
While the front or anterior part of the spine is supported by the intervertebral discs, the back or posterior part of the spine is supported by facet joints. With age, the facet joints can undergo wear and tear, resulting in arthropathy. This is made worse as the intervertebral discs also undergo dessication, thus transferring more pressure to the facet joints. Patients with facet joint arthropathy commonly complain of back pain that worsens with prolonged standing and straightening of the back.
Back sprain often occurs in individuals who are subjected to sudden weight loading activities/movements that they are not used to. Pain can sometimes be very severe and patients might hold their back in a fixed position for a few hours to a few days. If the pain continues beyond a week and is associated with arm or leg weakness or numbness, or loss of bowel or urinary control, one should seek immediate medical evaluation.
Scoliosis is often diagnosed in adolescents who are experiencing a growth spurt, which results in a sudden elongation of the spine, causing a rotational deformity in addition to a coronal (sideway) deformity. Consequently, this can result in the appearance of uneven shoulders or hip levels. Back pain in most adolescents with scoliosis is not actually due to the condition, but rather due to poor posture and weak muscles. Encouraging good posture and exercises such as swimming and yoga can help to improve back pain symptoms.
Spinal injuries of any kind may result in one or more of the following signs and symptoms:
Spine injuries are considered one of the most serious as they have the potential to impact other areas and functions of the body. In serious cases, they can result in permanent damage or changes to body strength and sensation. As such, an orthopaedist should always be consulted if you were to experience any spine-related symptoms.
Non-surgical treatment options such as:
The treatment options will be explained in detail during the consultation.
During the patient’s consultation, our specialists would evaluate the patient for:
Further investigations with X-rays or MRI may be ordered if necessary.
In some cases, the MRI may reveal compression of the nerve root, spinal cord, and patients may continue to experience pain, weakness or numbness or progression in neurology. As such, surgery may be necessary.
Our doctors will explain clearly the reason for surgery, the nature of the surgery, and the expected recovery process. Ample time will be given for questions and decision-making. Ultimately, the decision is with the patient, but we will accompany them on the journey to get better.
Our doctors are trained and highly experienced in diagnosing and treating orthopaedics conditions. We aim to provide you with quality care by thoroughly assessing your condition and personalising your treatments to your needs and goals.