In vertebrates, the spinal column serves to protect the spinal cord, to allow for a range of movement and to support the weight of the body. For most animals, the weight of the body is spread among all the vertebrae. But the spines of humans, who primarily walk on their “hind” legs, have to act as a flexible column, with all the weight resting upon the base. As a result, humans face a host of unique challenges when the health of their spine is impaired.
Spinal diseases result from a host of causes: primarily trauma, improper curvature, infection, malnutrition, wear and tear, and genetics. Sign and symptoms can range from the acute, such as temporary back pain, to debilitating, such as paralysis.
There are many recognized spinal diseases, some more common than others. Spinal disease also includes cervical spine diseases, which are diseases in the vertebrae of the neck. A lot of flexibility exists within the cervical spine and because of that, it is common for an individual to damage that area, especially over a long period of time. Some of the common cervical spine diseases include degenerative disc disease, cervical stenosis, and cervical disc herniation. Degenerative disc disease occurs over time when the discs within each vertebra in the neck begin to fall apart and begin to disintegrate. Because each vertebra can cause pain in different areas of the body, the pain from the disease can be sensed in the back, leg, neck area, or even the arms. When the spinal canal begins to lose its gap and gets thinner, it can cause pain in the neck, which can also cause a numb feeling in the arms and hands. Those are symptoms of cervical stenosis disease. The discs between each vertebra have fibers that can begin to deteriorate, and this can occur in cervical disc herniation. This disease is less common in younger people as it is usually a function of aging.
Scoliosis is a common spinal disease in which the spine has a curvature usually in the shape of the letter “C” or “S”. This is most common in girls, but there is no specific cause for scoliosis. Only a few symptoms occur for one with this disease, which include feeling tired in the spinal region or backaches. Generally, if the hips or shoulders are uneven, or if the spine curves, it is due to scoliosis and should be seen by a doctor.
Lumbar spinal stenosis
Lumbar spinal stenosis is classified as a narrowing of the spinal canal in the lumbar region of the vertebrae. This may lead to compression of the nerve root of the spinal cord and result in pain of the lower back and lower extremities. Other symptoms include impaired walking and a slightly stooped posture due to loss of disc height and bulging of the disc. Lumbar spinal stenosis is very prevalent with 9.3% of the general population producing symptoms and the number is continuing to rise in patients older than 60. It’s generally an indication for spinal surgery in patients older than 65 years of age.
Spina bifida is the most common defect impacting the Central Nervous System (CNS). The most common and most severe form of Spina Bifida is Myelomeningocele. Individuals with Myelomeningocele are born with an incompletely fused spine, and therefore exposing the spinal cord through an opening in the back. In general, the higher the spinal lesion, the greater the functional impairment to the individual. Symptoms may include bowel and bladder problems, weakness and/or loss of sensation below the level of the lesion, paralysis, or orthopedic issues. Severity of symptoms can vary per situation.
Cauda equina syndrome
Cauda equina syndrome is a rare syndrome that effects the spinal nerves in the region of the lower back called the cauda equine (Latin for “horses tail”). Injury to the cauda equine can have long lasting ramifications for the individual. Symptoms include lower back pain, bladder disturbances, bowel dysfunction, and anesthesia or paresthesia between the thighs. In order to prevent progressive neurological changes surgery can be a viable option.
A spinal tumor is when unusual tissue begins growing and spreading in the spinal columns or spinal cords. The unusual tissue builds up from abnormal cells that multiply quickly in a specific region. Tumors generally are broken down into categories known as benign, meaning non-cancerous, or malignant, meaning cancerous, and also primary or secondary. Primary spinal tumors begin in either the spinal cord or spinal column, whereas secondary spinal tumors begin elsewhere and spread to the spinal region.Symptoms for spinal tumors may vary due to factors such as the type of tumor, the region of the spine, and the health of the patient. Back pain is the most common symptom and it can be a problem if the pain is severe, has a time frame that lasts longer than it would for a normal injury, and becomes worse while laying down or at rest. Other symptoms, excluding back pains, are loss of muscle function, loss of bowel or bladder function, pain in the legs, scoliosis, or even unusual sensations in the legs
Homeopathic treatment for diseases of spine
Homeopathy is one of the most popular holistic systems of medicine. The selection of remedy is based upon the theory of individualization and symptoms similarity by using holistic approach. This is the only way through which a state of complete health can be regained by removing all the sign and symptoms from which the patient is suffering. The aim of homeopathy is not only to treat diseases of spine but to address its underlying cause and individual susceptibility. As far as therapeutic medication is concerned, several remedies are available to treat diseases of spine that can be selected on the basis of cause, sensations and modalities of the complaints. For individualized remedy selection and treatment, the patient should consult a qualified homeopathic doctor in person. There are following remedies which are helpful in the treatment of diseases of spine:
Sulphur – spinal congestion from suppression of menses or hemorrhoidal flow; every sudden jarring causes sharp pain along the spine; curvature of spine from softening of vertebrae; cannot walk erect.
Gelsemium – stiffness in neck and nape, with weariness and depression. Deep seated muscular pains numb feeling as if feet were going to sleep.
Cimicifuga – this remedy is especially adapted to the reflex of spinal irritation arising from uterine complaints, and where the lumber region is most affected. There is sensitiveness to pressure on the upper and lower cervical vertebrae; the patient cannot lean back in a chair; pains change about from one part to another.
Ruta – very acute pressive, drawing pain in right side of spine, opposite to liver, especially in inspiration; painful jerking of spine; aggravation from pressure of hand.
Zincum Met – constant pain in back and joints and loins so severe as to render life miserable; pain in back when walking relieved by continuing to walk; stiffness and tension of neck; tearing pains, burning in shoulder-blades; burning along whole spine.
Hypericum – spinal affections from injury; parts tend to atrophy, pain, spasms.
Thuja – drawing pain in small of back, bruised sensation in back and loins early on raising, better on turning trunk or while standing, better when walking; cramp like pain in lumber region.
Silicea – spinal weakness, legs tremble with great nervousness; feeling of loss of power; spasmodic pain in small of back, can hardly rise; draught on back causes pain and uneasiness.
Natrum Mur – sensitiveness of spine, better from lying flat on back, with partial paralysis from weakness of spine; stitches, cutting, pulsation, as if a portion of the spine had been taken out; limbs feel weak and bruised.
Belladonna – burning heat in spine; stitches in ovaries, bearing down and constant backache.
Bryonia – drawing and stiffness of cervical muscles, especially right side; shooting stitches in back through to chest; violent pain in first dorsal vertebra; small of back pains as if bruised when lying upon it, aggravated by even a light touch on spine and from slightest motion.
Mercurius – rheumatic stiffness and swelling of neck; violent pains in spine; aggravation from motion; bruised sensation in scapulae, back and small of back, pain in sacrum as after lying on a hard couch.
Lachesis – increased sensitivity of spine without soreness, yet often relieved by rubbing; back pain, with great restlessness.
Ladum Pal – painful stiffness of back and loins when rising from a seat; sticking in shoulder when lifting arm; tearing from small of back to occiput.
Kali Carb – backache, while walking she feels as if she must give up and lie down, after confinement, miscarriage; uterine, rheumatic or neuralgic backache, which feels as if back were broken or bruised during rest, not during movement; weakness in back and legs.
Calcarea Carb – drawing pains between scapulae and pressure which impedes respiration, and painfulness in bones of spine to touch; pain in small of back so that he can hardly rise from sitting; parts feel subjectively cold and icy coldness in and on head.