- The spine is an S chain formed by 33 bones called vertebrae. At the lowest section of the spine are the sacrum (5 vertebrae) and the tailbone (4 vertebrae). The rest of the spine (upper part) is a sequence of vertebrae connected by “disks” (cushion pads).
- At the heart of the spine runs the spinal cord. This “cord” is a bundle of nerves that connects almost all parts of the body to the brain.
- OA affects joints, and the spine having several of them, is very vulnerable to this condition. With time and over use the cartilage and disks between vertebrae deteriorate, which produce friction between bones and inflammation.
- As a natural response to cartilage and cushion loss the body builds extra bone mass at the spine, called spurs. These spurs aggravate OA because they reduce the openings where nerves pass through at the spine, causing pain, numbness and weakness in the legs.
- Exercise is probably the best therapy for any kind of spinal, back pain (including OA).
- Unfortunately but at the same time understandable, patients with back pain are afraid of physical activities, they are afraid of their pain. They foresee extra pain as a result of their movements. This reduction on physical activity debilitates and tightens the muscles around the spine, which causes more pain.
- It is safe to move, even if it is painful in the beginning. Introducing exercise to your pain management plan is basically the best way to stimulate blood circulation, maintain ideal weight, increase function and more important, avoid depression.
Your spine is not only your physical structure, but in a way your emotional column as well. Take care of it as you do with the rest of your most precious belongings.