At WiseGEEK, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.
Spinal cord disorders cause discomfort of varying levels for many people. Doctors have several treatment options available to them when it comes to lower back problems. Some common conditions affecting this part of the body include spinal stenosis, spinal arthritis, and spondylosis.
Spinal stenosis is caused when a portion of the spine becomes narrow, causing pressure on the spine or the nerves extending from the spinal column. This condition can cause back pain, as well as discomfort in the neck, arms or shoulders. Some patients affected by this disorder may feel pain or numbness in the lower extremities. This example of one of the most common spinal cord disorders is treated with pain medication, or physical therapy. For more serious cases, the doctor may recommend surgery.
Another example of common spinal cord disorders is spinal arthritis. Arthritis may be due to aging, or develop as the result of an injury. The majority of people in the United States over the age of 55 have this medical condition, which is caused by the breakdown of cartilage in the joints.
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. This medical condition is linked to loss of cartilage, as well as the formation of bone spurs, or overgrowths in the bone. This malformation of the vertebrae may cause pain, a burning sensation, or numbness in the legs. Some patients with bone spurs report cramping, muscle spasms, or weakness in the lower extremities.
Common spinal cord disorders also include spondylosis, which is a generative form of osteoarthritis. This condition is related to aging, and can affect the neck or back. People who are over the age of 40 are at risk for developing spondylosis, which causes back pain and morning stiffness, in the lumbar region of the spine. The back pain may worsen with movement. Sitting for long periods of time can also exacerbate symptoms, since it puts pressure on the lower back.
People who have been diagnosed with spondylosis have a number of treatment options available to them. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, the doctor may suggest an over-the-counter pain remedy or a prescription-strength medication. Steroid injections, physical therapy, or surgery may be recommended if pain relievers are not effective in treating this condition.
Some people seek treatment from a chiropractor for their spondylosis symptoms. This type of drug-free approach to treatment focuses on performing manipulations to treat spinal cord disorders and other conditions affecting the neck and back. A chiropractor can perform an adjustment to move the vertebrae into the correct position, which will alleviate back pain.