Spine (vertebral column) is the central structure of our body that helps in keeping us upright. It consists of bony vertebrae, which are separated by cartilaginous intervertebral discs. There are 33 vertebrae divided into 7 cervical, 12 thoracic, 5 lumbar, 5 sacral, and 4 coccygeal vertebrae. The vertebral column houses an enclosed cavity known as the spinal canal. The spinal cord is an elongated tubular bundle of spinal nerves that runs from C1 vertebra to L1 vertebra within the spinal canal. It originates from the base of brain and ends in the form of a horsetail (cauda equina). There are 31 pairs of spinal nerves that emerge from the spinal cord in between the vertebrae. The entire vertebral column is supported by various ligaments, tendons and muscles. All these soft tissue structures protect the delicate spinal cord and provide flexibility to your spine.
There are several reasons that may lead to back pain or injury to the spine. Some of the most common reasons include-
First line of management for spinal disorders/injuries is conservative treatment. Your doctor will prescribe pain relieving medication, anti-inflammatory medications (reduce swelling), corticosteroids injections, physical therapy and spinal brace/immobilizer. If the treatment fails and there is no improvement in symptoms even after 6 to 12 weeks, then surgery is the treatment of choice.
Here’s the list of the most common spine surgeries