The aging spine

Age related changes in the spine include loss of height due to increasing spinal curvatures, disc degeneration and occasionally vertebral collapse. These can occur in the facet joints, sacroiliac joints and intervertebral discs. Osteoporosis should also be considered in the older patient as well. Patients may have a combination of several structural problems as above but appropriate imaging is also helpful. Spondylosis refers to degenerative age related change within the spine. Symptoms can include neck and back pain, brachalgia or sciatica. Osteoporotic vertebral compression fracture may include sudden acute back pain and there may be loss of height with a forward curve in the thoracic area. Treatment can include physical therapy (Pilates, yoga, chiropractic, osteopathy, exercise based physiotherapy etc.) and optimisation of medication.

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  • Compression grips for pianists – do they help or harm?

    Katherine Butler assesses the effectiveness of compression grips for pianists – do they help or harm?   The focus of performing arts medicine/is performance enhancement through injury prevention. It is essential that musicians warm up and cool down before and after playing, keep their instrument well maintained, develop healthy practice habits and live a balanced […]

  • Sciatica

      What is sciatica? Sciatica is a term used to describe any kind of pain caused by irritation or compression of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is comprised of several nerves that branch out from each side of the lower spine. These nerves merge together to form the sciatic nerve, which runs through the […]

  • Whiplash

    What is whiplash? Whiplash is a type of neck injury caused by a sudden unexpected backward and/or forward jerking movement of the head, resulting in damage to the soft tissues (e.g. muscles, ligaments, discs, nerves) of the neck. Although whiplash is most commonly associated with motor vehicle accidents, it can also be caused by other […]