An Analysis of Alignment in Normal vs. Degenerative Spines

Doctor checking patients spine

Spine disorders and associated pain present major social, economic, and medical problems for people everywhere – because of the high prevalence of spine problems within the United States, one of the first aspects of spine care is to observe these behaviors in spine alignment. Spine alignment is often one of the most significant indicators for spinal disorders and back problems. When comparing a normal, healthy spine to a degenerative spine, we can observe the correlation between these two factors and potentially provide patients with all-around solutions for their back pain.

How Spine Alignment and Disorder Connect

Recent spinal surgery advancements and techniques have made recognizing spinal alignment an essential factor in determining degenerative disorders and other spinal conditions. How quality of life, experienced symptoms, surgical requirements, and potential complications come into play can be observed by looking at the spine’s alignment and determining the best outcomes. The emergence of modern technology has made great strides when considering how spine specialists and surgeons tackle spine alignment to improve posture and pain.

In a study conducted by the Journal of Spine Surgery, researchers looked at the cervical spine to observe its alignment concerning the thoracic and lumbar sections of the spine. By observing the relationship between the cervical area and its effects with angle measurements of each vertebra and then comparing those positions with patients’ parameters throughout multiple studies conducted between 2016 and 2018. Researchers found that spine alignment has a distinct correlation for supporting a person’s body weight, gender, ethnicity, time of day, and aging, with more drastic changes in posture occurring in those with degenerative disorders.

The variables presented throughout this study shows that a person’s alignment has an increasing effect on a person’s pain levels and their suggested appropriate treatment. In those with bad postural alignment, other areas of the body, including the pelvis and limbs, making an attempt to compensate for this issue in alignment can result in flexibility, posture, and muscle strength. The study concluded that cervical alignment remains a critically essential factor when planning surgical solutions to spine problems. Thus, the entire spine should be taken into account when handling patients of different pain levels.

How We Address The Back Pain Dilemma

Spine-related disorders are among the most frequently encountered issues within clinical medicine, and the statistics of those with spinal pain are staggering. According to the American Chiropractic Association, about 31 million people experience lower back pain each day at any given time. As orthopedists and spine surgeons attempt to resolve these issues, proper spinal alignment can be manually adjusted and reinforced through multiple ways to prevent the onset of degenerative disorders, including:

  • Reinforce Work On Posture – While sitting at your office chair at work or while walking each day, manual work on alignment through proper sitting and walking postures can help reduce pain over time.
  • Stabilization Exercises – Some stabilization exercises, such as core strengthening exercises like lunges, planks, and squats, can help align the spine.
  • Maintain Healthy Diet – Losing weight and maintaining a healthy body-to-mass ratio can help keep the spine healthy.
  • Routine Spinal Specialist Visits – Most importantly, as we age, our spine can suffer from numerous effects that can cause significant pain, and visiting a spinal clinic can help address those issues.
Dr. Todd A. Bromberg, M.D. When chronic pain and spinal issues impact your quality of life, you need a team of crack spine and pain specialists at your disposal. Delaware Valley Pain & Spine Institute works with some of the most respected experts in the field to bring pain relief and restored quality of life to patients in Pennsylvania and New Jersey!
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