The musclesthe ligaments and the tendons are the main supporting components of the spine. In the event of a loss of integrity of one or other of these elements, a instability occurs between the vertebrae of the spine. In other words, a vertebrate can slide on another, and this in any direction: we are talking about theintervertebral instability.
Several factors can be at the origin of this phenomenon, but there are several methods allowing an optimal care. What are the causes and treatments of intervertebral instability?
Intervertebral instability: what is it?
Gestures such as dancing, running, jumping, lifting, stretching, etc. constitute, among other things, movements affecting the human body, mainly the spine (composed of the vertebrae). Throughout the period of youth, the spine is more stable and flexible. That is to say that bones, tendons, disks, the ligaments of this structure stabilize: this is normal functioning.
Also, if any of the components of the spine listed above are affected by a lesion acutea gradual deterioration or a weakness, this causes instability. By way of illustration, if the tendons and ligaments are confronted with a loss of elasticity or to a stretching, they can no longer stabilize their vertebrae firmly in a natural position. This leads to great mobility of each vertebra of the affected parts.
It is also the same scenario in the event of loss in height of the intervertebral discs or in case of muscle weakness. In more serious cases, a vertebra can move and come forward of another vertebra: this is the spondylolisthesis. Note, however, that a intervertebral instability causes several spinal disorders.
What are the causes of intervertebral instability?
There are many causes of instability between the vertebrae. As noted above, there are physical factors (stretching, physical activity, etc.). In addition to these, there are certain circumstances that can promote intervertebral instability: workloaddepressed moods, painsthe social factorsetc.
The older we get, the more the spine is susceptible to wear and tear. This can start a chain reaction, in turn causing instability. From inflammationsfrom surgical procedures and tumors are likely to cause the disease. From trauma and degenerative lesionslike the herniated discsthe scoliosisthe spondylosiscan also lead to intervertebral instability.
What are the symptoms of intervertebral instability?
Intervertebral instability can manifest as neck pain. But, in the case where the nerves are pinched because of the shifts, the pains can reach other parts of the body.
In the context of intervertebral instability in the lower back, those affected are generally confronted with back pain which radiate into the leg. This can cause discomfort and muscle weakness (loss of strength).
After waking up and after physical exercises, a distortion and an increase in back pain are observed in patients.
Pay particular attention to the following symptoms:
- When you feel painsaccompanied by a stiffness when getting up in the morning;
- When you feel pain, following prolonged wearing of loads (shopping bags for example);
- When you feel pain in the cervical spine Where lumbar, after rapidly turning the head from side to side;
- When you feel like your back is breaking or your neck is not supporting your head.
How is the diagnosis made?
The diagnosis of intervertebral instability begins with a clear discussion with the patient (history). The patient must provide the doctor with all the preliminary information on the history of his disease: all the symptoms observed, the frequency, the time, the place of appearance and the severity of the pain.
The doctor then performs the following clinical examinations: MRI, x-ray and the to scan. The healthcare professional defines with the person concerned, a therapy adapted to his situation, while briefing him on the advantages and disadvantages of the chosen treatment.
What is the management of intervertebral instability?
The treatment of instability between the vertebrae requires meticulousness and skills. This, due to the flexibility and mechanical stresses related to the spine. The objective of treatment in this context is to reduce instability and prevent any other sequelae, without resorting to surgical intervention.
Certainly, there are several methods to treat this condition, but they must be adapted to the cause of the instability. In the case of a degeneration of the intervertebral discsdoctors use the record culture. This consists in restoring the function tamphon of the intervertebral disc.
As part of a osteoporosis of vertebral bodywe proceed to a kyphoplasty, and the vertebral segments can be stabilized by spinal fusion. In some cases, damaged vertebrae or discs can be replaced with bone blocksfrom plastic structures or in titanium. The vertebral joints fuse with the blocks or materials used, after a few months following surgery.
After that, the pain is almost completely reduced, and the use of physiotherapy is therefore possible, to consolidate the back muscles. The movements of the back can be carried out better than before, after such a surgical intervention.
What is the prognosis for instability between the vertebrae?
The prognosis of intervertebral instability depends on several factors:
- Anatomical changes in symptoms;
- The duration of the manifestation of instability and
- L’age of the affected person.
When the cause of the instability is quickly determined and the management done, the patient finds healing. Otherwise, a paraplegia can occur. The consequences may be, in rare cases, unavoidable. It is therefore recommended to be consulted as soon as possible. However, note that the taking painkillers does not reduce instability, rather it delays diagnosis, as well as therapy.
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What are the causes and treatments of intervertebral instability? – Hospital information: Glossary and current events in the medical community
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