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Your lifestyle can put you at a risk of these 7 spinal problems

Don't ignore severe pain pain, numbness or cramps in your legs. Here's why!

Written by Bhavyajyoti Chilukoti |Published : October 9, 2015 7:12 PM IST

October 16th is World Spine Day

Sitting long hours in front of the computer or working in an occupation that requires you to carry heavy weights might be a cause of back pain. But, even inflammation of the spine due to an injury might put you at risk of spinal problems. Whatever might be the case, you have to be extra careful when it comes to taking care of your spine. And hence, you should be aware of these 7 conditions that might put your spine at risk!


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If you sit for long hours in a bad posture over a computer screen, you are at a high risk of suffering from a condition known as hunchback. Characterised by pain in the shoulder, neck and back, if left untreated it could cause tightening of the chest muscles and also weaken your upper back. To deal with this, perform exercises or yoga regularly to improve mobility in your upper back and also strengthen your back muscles. You can start with upper back foam rolling, prone cobra or bhujangasana. Here is more on how bad posture can put your back at risk!

Slipped disc

Did you know that everyday activities like driving for long hours or sitting in the wrong position for hours at a stretch might put you at risk of slipped disc? According to Dr Amitabh Gupta, Neuro and Spine Surgeon, Indian Spinal Injury Center, New Delhi, slipped disc can be caused due to pressure or injury to the spine. So if you experience severe back pain, muscle ache, weakness while walking or numbness in legs, it s time to consult a doctor and get tested.


Another common yet painful condition that affects your spine is sciatica. In this, the person experiences an excruciating pain that radiates from the lower back to buttocks that also travels to your legs, says Dr Garima Anandani, chief spine consultant, Qi Spine Clinic. It is different from the normal pain in the back that you usually experience. If diagnosed at the right time, the symptoms can be relieved within 1- 2 months. But, if not treated, acute sciatica pain might lead to severe flare-ups that further worsen your condition. And this might hinder your normal day-to-day activities like walking, sleeping and standing. Read more about sciatica causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and prevention.

Spinal stenosis

In some cases, there is a narrowing of the spaces in the spinal column that exert pressure on the nerves present in the spinal cord. This in turn causes pain in the neck and lower back along with cramping in the back and legs as well. Older adults are at high risk of suffering from this condition due to wear and tear in the spinal cord. If you experience numbness in the legs or pain in the lower back, don t think twice to consult a doctor.

Herniated disc

Your spine might bear the brunt if you put pressure on your back, that in turn damages your spinal cord. But in some cases, the intervertebral discs (spaces between your vertebrae) are not only damaged but also protrude out of the spinal column causing extreme back pain. This condition is known as herniated disc, and it mostly requires spinal surgery that removes the herniated disc, thereby relieving pressure on the nerves.

Ankylosing spondylitis

Also known as a bamboo spine, ankylosing spondylitis causes inflammation of the joints in the spine. The signs and symptoms of this condition include pain and stiffness in the bottom of the neck. In some cases, the vertebrae might grow or fuse leading to a rigid structure. And this can result in a stooped posture over time. So if you experience severe pain in the neck radiating over the entire spinal cord, consult a doctor immediately.


Not many people know that scoliosis is not a disease but a condition that causes abnormal curvature of your spine. In normal people, the spine is straight but in this case, it is slightly bent, either to the right or the left. In some cases, the spine has two curves that give the spine an S-shaped structure. However, pregnant women and children suffering from this condition should be extra careful as it might create health complications in the long term.

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