Spine disorders generally develop due to an injury or the repeated stress placed on the spinal column over time. Disorders of the spine often impair an individual’s ability to function painlessly.
There are a vast number of spine disorders. Some of the most common ones include:
- Degenerative spine disease – This refers to the degeneration of parts of the spine that happen naturally as part of the aging process.
- Scoliosis – This condition describes the abnormal curvature of the spine, usually in an S or C shape. Scoliosis is most common among children and adolescents.
- Bulging disc – When an intervertebral disc protrudes out of its intended space in the spinal column, the condition is called a bulging disc, and can lead to painful nerve compression.
- Sciatica – This term describes the symptoms of leg pain due to compression of the sciatic nerve.
- Arthritis of the spine – Natural wear and tear of the spine can cause the cartilage between the spine’s joints to thin, often resulting in inflammation and joint pain.
- Spinal cord injury – Spinal cord injuries can occur by playing high-impact sports, motor vehicle accidents, falls, or diseases like polio or spina bifida.
These and other spine disorders often cause pain when the changes in the spine result in compression of a nerve or the spinal cord itself. However, spine disorders can result in a number of other symptoms, including:
- Numbness or tingling in the extremities
- Muscle weakness
- Stiffness in the back or neck
- Limited range of motion in the spine