Symptoms occurring along the spine are frequently the consequence of
muscular problems. Arthritis may lead to painful deformity of the
joints of the spine. Scoliosis can produce severe deformities of
the spine, as it twists and rotates. Spondylolisthesis can deform
the spine forward. All can produce back pain.
Less commonly, herniated discs, can cause pain not only in the
spine and extremities, but also lead to weakness and numbness of the legs
or arms. Rheumatoid arthritis can produce severe problems of the
back of the neck where it joins the skull. Auto accidents frequently
damage various areas of the spine.
Anti-inflammatory drugs are quite helpful. Some of the best, Vioxx
and Bextra, were removed from the market due to an increased
risk of developing heart attacks with prolonged use. The remaining
drugs, such as Celebrex, Mobic and Naprosyn may also produce
Spine surgery is often necessary to correct some of these problems.
Recently, the release of lumbar artificial discs has become available
for some patients.
Osteoporosis can produce collapse of the vertebra, with compression
fractures. Attempts to prevent this with medications are now more
common, using Fosamax, Actonel and other medications. Hormone
replacement in women helps prevent osteoporosis.