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From scoliosis to osteoporosis, the problems that can affect the spine throughout life: how to prevent back pain


Specialists explain what are the most frequent causes of low back pain. Where to get free checkups.

It is considered the "anatomical axis of the body", the

central structure

that allows us to adopt an upright posture, maintain the balance of the trunk and guide the movement.

In short, that our spine works properly will be what allows us, makes it difficult or prevents us from handling our body as we want.

Nothing more and nothing less.

For all this, and to highlight the importance of


, timely consultation and early diagnosis, from the Argentine Society of Pathology of the Vertebral Column and the Hospital de Clínicas, they promote that today, March 23, the Day National Vertebral Column.

Low back pain is not a disease, but a symptom.

Photo Shutterstock.

“Our objective is to provide information to the population regarding different pathologies that affect the spine and that are

very prevalent

, such as scoliosis in children and adolescents, osteoporotic fractures in people over 50 and 60, and degenerative disc disease, which is

in fashion.

because of what has happened to our president, and that it is a disease that goes hand in hand with the modern rhythm of life, and that most of us will suffer from,”

Dr. Marcelo Melo, traumatologist and general director of the hospital , explains

to Clarín.

Clinic Hospital.

"With the extension of the life expectancy of the general population, added to the increase in

risk factors

such as a sedentary lifestyle, obesity and vicious behaviors, such as poor posture and smoking, we can increasingly see more cases of different problems in posture and spine”, adds Andrés Ferrero, spinal specialist, member of the traumatology service. 

What is low back pain

Low back pain

is not a disease

, but a symptom.

It is an intense pain that is usually felt in the lower part of the spine, Ferrero points out, adding that it is the most common back problem worldwide, and that it can occur at all ages: "It is estimated that each person He will suffer from these pains at least twice in his life.”

“The spine is a case that

protects the nerve structures

so that one can have daily activity, rotate, lift heavy things without pain.

When that case fails because the disc ruptured, or because it caused a little osteoarthritis, or because a fracture appeared in the vertebral body, that will give the symptom”, Melo graphs.

Bad postures are one of the main causes of back pain.

Photo Shutterstock.

And he adds: “What happens then is that this casing will stop protecting the nervous structure and will start to

attack it

, so low back pain begins to be associated with pain that radiates to the leg, but the nerve is already there. engaged".

“Usually low back pain can appear after a great effort, but if it lasts a few days and with rest and anti-inflammatory it disappears, there is no need to worry.

Now, when this low back pain

is persistent

, it lasts several days, it increases, and the patient's activity is limited, obviously it must be studied and see what causes it”, adds Melo.

Among its possible causes, he points out that it is frequently related to

degenerative disc disease

and explains that vertebral blocks are used when it becomes a very acute symptom.

Following this line, he highlights the importance of detecting back problems in time.

“Low back pain can last over time and directly affect our quality of life, so it should not only be treated, but also small changes in daily life that can improve or even prevent it.

A fracture

occurs every 3 seconds in the world

, so timely diagnosis is key”, says Ferrero.

And it lists prevention measures: "do aerobic activity, not smoke and avoid vicious postures, such as being hunched over or spending many hours in front of the screen."

Osteoporosis: the risk of fractures

Osteoporosis is a widespread, silent condition that makes bones weak and brittle.

The disease

has no obvious symptoms

, so many people don't know they have it until they suffer a fracture.

Worldwide, it is estimated that

one in three women

and one in five men will suffer an osteoporotic fracture after the age of 50.

As for our country, it is estimated that 90 hip fractures occur every day.

"Early diagnosis and treatment, if necessary, is important to prevent them," warns Ferrero.

Scoliosis is the main back problem in childhood and adolescence.

Photo Shutterstock.

Now, what factors contribute to the occurrence of a fracture?

“It occurs because the

resistance of the bone is overwhelmed

by the force applied to it during minimal trauma, such as falling from its own height, and this depends on the mineral content of the bone, the geometry of the bone, the microarchitecture and the quality of its components, as well as the mechanism and intensity of the impact”, he specifies.

Likewise, he maintains that a first fracture due to osteoporosis is a strong


of new fractures: "A person who fractures has twice the risk of suffering another, and this is more likely within the following two years."

Therefore, it recommends carrying out a healthy diet, with an intake of calcium and protein, adequate levels of vitamin D, not smoking or consuming alcohol excessively, and doing exercises that stimulate both muscle strength and balance.

"Pharmacological treatment, however, must be individualized for each patient according to their history," he clarifies.

Screening for Scoliosis in Youth

Regarding scoliosis, Ferrero points out that it is one of the most

common health problems in the back of young people


It is an alteration in the shape of the column that can have severe consequences in the future.

“The typical thing about these scoliosis is that they do not have pain, so it is detected by paying attention to the


and the form of development of adolescents.

If parents or teachers detect that a child has, for example, one shoulder higher than the other or remains with altered postures, it is time to consult an orthopedic surgeon”, emphasizes the specialist.

Melo highlights the importance of

early diagnosis

, which is generally carried out in routine check-ups, which should not be skipped: "It is detected very easily, with a maneuver that is leaning the little ones forward and that's when one quickly sees some asymmetry a consultation should be made ”, he advises.

Ferrero recognizes that a bad posture in the daily use of the ubiquitous technology can have a negative impact on the development of children and adolescents.

"It is recommended that the screens are always at eye level, neither higher nor lower, meaning that we have to sit at 90 degrees," he points out.

And he adds: "Whether they are phones, tablets, TVs or computers, the ideal is to adopt these postures, since there is a tendency to look down at them, generating vicious postures, such as tensing the entire back and part of the neck, which is usually known as the

tech neck


”, he alerts.

How to prevent back pain

"Both osteoporotic fractures and degenerative disc disease, linked to the

aging of the spine

, are related to a sedentary lifestyle, jobs with little mobility, or quite the opposite, very forced labor," Melo analyzes.

And he explains what must be done to avoid problems: "Do gymnastics, encourage sports, control weight, diet, do a series of exercises that serve to make the spine -this case where the nerves, bones, discs and facets - stays good most of the time," he advises.

Ferrero agrees that one way to counteract these postures at all stages of life is by playing


"In the case of adolescents, it is useful to exercise both at school and in an activity outside of it, while in adults, yoga is especially suggested as a form of prevention," he adds.

Finally, Melo proposes paying attention to the


when we are in front of the computer.

"Something that is very simple to apply: it is not useful to be in fixed positions for a long time, neither sitting nor standing, so the fact of stopping from time to time, moving and taking a few steps, already helps a lot," he says.

Within the framework of National Spine Day, this Thursday, March 23, the Hospital de Clínicas will carry out a free campaign open to the community for the detection, diagnosis and subsequent treatment of this type of spinal pathology.

The initiative will take place from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. on the ground floor, external Traumatology sector, and will be aimed at all ages and genders.

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Source: clarin

All news articles on 2023-03-23

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