Developments in the Management and Treatment of Spine Conditions

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person spine correcting

Back in the day, treatments for spine injuries were scarce and generally lumped together. This approach proved to be less than beneficial to rare spine conditions as there are many reasons one treatment won’t work for another. In fact, serious spinal cord injuries usually meant death until World War II. Luckily, we now have the option to choose specialized therapy for spine injuries. Listed below are the management and treatment used today to alleviate spine-related pain.

Specialized Treatment

People suffering from spine conditions now have the means to get private treatment for scoliosis and other mitigating spine conditions. For example: through the plethora of options available, the treatment for scoliosis can either be surgical, non-surgical, or physical therapy.

Non-surgical Treatment

Chiropractors

Have you ever watched videos on the internet where doctors of chiropractic care are administering professional massages on people’s backs to make them “pop?” If you have, you already know how a chiropractor treats spine-related problems in a non-surgical way.
As satisfying as watching videos of chiropractors can be, experts recommend that you consult your doctor if you can get therapy from chiropractors. Take note that, depending on the severity of your spine condition, chiropractors might be off the table for your treatment. Here are a couple of spine conditions that chiropractors care can treat:

  • Herniated Disc
  • Whiplash
  • Back sprains and strains
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Myofascial Pain
  • Leg length discrepancy caused by postural problems
  • Spinal Osteoarthritis
  • Physiatrists

Not to be confused with psychiatrists, physiatrists are medical doctors that specialize in rehabilitation and physical medicine. Physiatrists mainly focus on treating medical conditions that affect the brain, bones, joints, spinal cords, muscles, and tendons. Consulting a physiatrist is an uncompromising way to treat musculoskeletal diseases that don’t involve surgery. Physiatrists treat the patient’s whole body and not just the affected area. They determine, create a treatment plan, and work with other physicians when surgery is needed for the patient.

Surgical Treatment

Spinal Fusion

Perhaps the most grueling treatment for spine conditions, specifically scoliosis, is spinal fusion. In spinal fusion surgeries, doctors use bone grafts to let two opposing bony surfaces grow together. Akin to plant grafting, another bone is needed to stabilize the affected area of the spine. The bone graft can come from another part of the patient’s body, from a synthetic bone substitute or other individuals.

Thankfully, spinal fusion technologies are rapidly evolving to make the surgery seamless and stress-free for the patient. GPS-guided robots are now used during surgery and tranexamic acid to lessen surgery duration and reduce blood loss.

Discectomy

Literally meaning “disc cutting,” discectomy is one of the most effective treatments for treating herniated discs in the lower spine. Through this surgery, doctors make an incision through the back muscles and remove the disc pressing on the affected nerve. This treatment is recommended for people that are suffering from herniated discs or degenerative disc disease. Administering a discectomy should be the next resort a patient has when they experience no relief from their pain even after all the non-surgical methods are issued.

person with spine issues

Laminotomy

Laminotomy is the surgery for the spine that involves removing the affected vertebral arch of the patient called “lamina.” Compared to laminectomy, laminotomy only removes a small part of the lamina. A patient may need to have a multi-level laminotomy or single-level laminotomy, depending on their condition. Multilevel laminotomy involves more than one vertebra, while single level laminotomy only involves one vertebra.

Laminotomy is used to treat bone spurs, spinal stenosis, sciatica, and herniated spinal discs by relieving the patient’s spinal canal and nerves’ pressure. While administering laminotomy, the doctors can also perform discectomy, spinal fusion, and foraminotomy to treat the patient’s spine conditions.

Foraminotomy

Similar to laminotomy, foraminotomy is a spine surgery that aims to remove pressure on the spine’s nerve roots. If the patient is scheduled to get laminotomy or laminectomy, foraminotomy could also be administered in one surgical procedure. Foraminotomy compromises of a back incision aimed to remove bone spurs, herniated discs, and thickened ligaments.

Patients with degenerative arthritis, enlargement of spine ligaments, cysts, skeletal diseases, or spondylolisthesis may be recommended to get foraminotomy.

After-care

Undergoing treatment for spine conditions involves changing your habits and lifestyle by incorporating more exercise and a proper diet. Alcohol and cigarettes are prohibited during your treatment, particularly for surgical treatments, and strenuous activities are limited. However, with appropriate care for your body and the change to nurturing habits from unhealthy ones, you can say goodbye to spine-related pain for the rest of your life.

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