Spinal Health

What is spinal health?

Spinal conditions are those that affect any part of the spine, including the vertebrae, the spinal cord and the nerves. Because the spine ultimate affects everything from the head to the feet, pain resulting from poor spinal health can manifest in any part of the body. For example, problems in the neck can result in headaches, and although sciatica presents as a pain down one or both legs, it originates in the lower back.

Examples of spinal health problems include the following:

  • Pain in the back or neck
  • Sciatica (a pinched nerve in the lower back)
  • Lumbar spondylosis (osteoarthritis in the vertebral joints)
  • Myelopathy (compression of the spinal cord)
  • Brown-Sequard syndrome (injury to one side of the spinal cord)

Factors that can make you more prone to spinal problems include lack of exercise, poor form and technique when exercising, excess weight, and advanced age.


What are the signs of an unhealthy spine?

Because problems in the spine can manifest in other parts of the body, it is sometimes difficult to correctly identify an issue as a spinal problem. However, some signs that your spine may not be functioning as well as it should include the following:

  • Persistent pain in the back or the neck
  • Headaches that do not respond to painkillers
  • Pain that radiates down an arm or a leg
  • Limited flexibility of the back
  • An aching or burning sensation in one shoulder
  • Pain in the knees or feet that cannot be explained by other causes
  • Hips or shoulders that are not level


What causes back pain?

Back pain is a very common affliction that strikes almost everyone at one time or another. It has a wide variety of causes, including the following:

  • Injuries such as sprains or strains
  • Degenerative disk conditions, which result in a reduction of the cushioning between vertebrae
  • Pinched nerves in the back or neck
  • Osteoarthritis or spinal stenosis
  • Scoliosis
  • Osteoporosis

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