Inflammation of the spine

Inflammation is a common symptom in current medical practice. One of the most dangerous types of inflammatory processes is an inflammation of the spine, as it bears a huge potential harm. It is recorded in a number of different diseases: it is possible to observe a minor skin injury, and pathologies of bone tissue. This is a natural reaction of the organism in various pathological disorders in the tissues and internal organs, as well as the penetration of pathogenic agents.

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The spine is the Central hub for the distribution of the nerve endings and the location of the bone marrow. Any pathological change will adversely affect not only the structure of the vertebral column, but also on the internal organs. For example, chronic inflammation of the cervical adversely affects the heart and creates the likelihood of stroke. The inflammatory process can have an infectious nature or to develop due to degenerative or autoimmune factors.

Infectious inflammation

Due to its structure, the spine very vulnerable to various kinds of infections. The vertebrae are well supplied with blood through the main arteries, and a disease-causing pathogen can relatively easily penetrate into the vertebrae through the blood stream. The original focus of infection may be localized in any other part of the body, the tonsils, the bladder, prostate gland, etc. in Addition to hematogenous mode of transmission, there is a risk of infection from outside by direct injury to the vertebral column.

Lead to the development of an infectious inflammation can following circumstances.

  • Infection of internal organs. Severe and/or chronic infection of organs through prolonged or acute course can infect the spine via the bloodstream. The risk of infection is responsible for virtually any infectious disease outbreak, ranging from sore throats or syphilis and ending with sepsis.
  • A weakened immune system. Diabetes, HIV and other diseases that critically weaken the immune system, by default, create the probability of infection in the bone tissue of the spine.
  • Surgery. Various operations on the spine, for example, removal of a herniated disc can be a source of infection due to unprofessional medical staff or other related factors. Also included spinal damage and infection as the result of penetrating injuries.
  • Specific name diagnosed with an infectious inflammation of the spine is determined depending on the specific type of pathogen and the picture of the development of the disease. Diagnosis of the pathogenic nature of the disease very often takes a long time, given the diversity of infectious agents and the presence of specific strains.

    After taking the necessary tests (biopsy and blood cultures), a specific diagnosis can be made in the period from two weeks to two months.

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    Inflammation aseptic nature

    Aseptic, or noninfectious inflammation of the spinal column characterized by the absence of infectious agent in the localization of the inflammatory process. Causes of aseptic lesions of the spine are divided into:

    • degenerative;
    • autoimmune.

    In the first case the inflammatory process cause compression of the tissues, degeneration of cartilage, injury without infection and similar factors. Degenerative inflammatory process most often caused by osteoarthritis of the cervical spine, which intervertebral cartilage is starting to thin and break. As the progression of the disease due to extensive destruction of cartilage, the inflammation goes on a permanent basis. The cervical vertebrae lose mobility, infringed the nerve endings and starts mechanical abrasion of bone tissue.

    Osteoarthritis of the cervical spine can develop for the following reasons.

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    Osteoarthritis of the cervical

  • Unbalanced nutrition. If the diet the body does not receive enough of the trace elements essential for the nutrition of cartilage – this will inevitably lead to degeneration of the intervertebral cartilage.
  • Exercise. Heavy load on the cervical (specific sports, long pastime at the computer, and other circumstances in which over-loaded cervical) creates the likelihood of developing osteoarthritis.
  • Of metabolic disorders. Abnormal metabolism has a negative impact on the nutrition of cartilage tissue, causing pathological changes in its structure. This circumstance often manifests itself in old age. Accordingly, arthritis of the cervical may occur in a patient due to natural aging changes.
  • Injuries of the cervical. Any damage to the cervical spine can lead to the formation of cracks in the cartilage, which will rapidly leak proteoglycans – the elements that give cartilage flexibility.
  • Osteoarthritis can also have an autoimmune nature. For unknown reasons, the immune system begins to attack the cartilage, causing inflammation. Autoimmune inflammation of the spine has a similar flow, with the difference that the inflammatory process has a more extensive structure and can be localized in any region of the spine.

    Indirectly provoking autoimmune disease can severe stress or sickness that suppresses the immune system.

    Herniated disc

    Special mention deserves the intervertebral hernia. It also could be related to degenerative causes inflammation of the spine. Conditional linking herniated discs to inflammatory processes of the spine is due to the presence of inflammation as an accompanying symptom, but it is not the primary consequence of the disease.

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    Воспаление позвоночникаHernia is formed due to the rupture of the intervertebral disc fibrous ring that acts as a flexible shock absorber between the vertebrae. After injury through the cracks in the shell follows the content of the fibrous ring. Liquid bulges at different sides of the vertebra, zadamlya nerves, and intervertebral disc loses cushioning properties.

    To provoke a rupture of the intervertebral disc and herniation may be sudden movement, overuse, or degenerative disorders of the elements of the joint. Disc herniation causes inflammation of the nerve endings and cartilage due to pinching and excessive mechanical stress that is created due to thinning of the fibrous ring.

    A hernia may form in any part of the spine from cervical region to lumbar, depending on the localization of the damaging factor.


    The symptoms of inflammatory diseases of the spine is largely dependent on the nature of the disease, the pathology is characterized by individual manifestations. Infection often occurs reactive, acute or subacute course, whereas aseptic inflammatory process in the majority develops gradually. However, the clinical picture of the inflammation has a relatively similar structure in the early stages of the disease. The beginning of the inflammatory process in the spine is characterized by the following symptoms.

    Symptoms The clinical picture
    Pain. Pain can be localized both at the site of the affected vertebra, and in the limb region, which is associated with the corresponding spine. The pain increases with movement of the affected Department, for example, inflammation of the thoracic vertebrae it occurs when breathing, coughing or sneezing.
    Numbness. Numbness or separate areas – this symptom is characterized by herniation pinched nerve endings that pass through the affected vertebra.
    Stiffness. After prolonged inactivity or a night’s sleep in the spine there is a feeling of stiffness, which takes place only after a period of action.

    The intensity of these symptoms is determined by the characteristics of the pathology and stage of disease. Due to the abundance of nerve endings and proximity to the spinal cord, the symptoms of inflammation can manifest in an unexpected place in the area of direct localization of the pathology manifestations are subtle. At first glance, they can be in no way connected with the spine, but this impression is deceptive, and a full medical examination will not be superfluous.

    Diagnosis of the inflammatory process carried out exclusively in medical institutions: to say something definite only on the external manifestations is not possible.

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    Treatment of inflammation of the spine depends entirely on the specifics of the disease, and no uniform guidelines in this case does not exist. The hallmark of the treatment of pathologies of the spine is the strict control of the attending physician, as virtually any disease can potentially cause irreparable damage to health. Self-treatment and treatment of folk remedies inappropriate and can lead to serious consequences. In General, the treatment of inflammatory process of the spine as follows.

    Antibiotics. The infectious nature of the disease involves antibiotics that can help to remove the root cause of inflammation. Depending on the type of pathogen may apply to specific drugs or broad-spectrum antibiotics effects, if the origin of the pathogen was not detected.

    NSAIDs. NSAIDs are used for symptomatic treatment: pain relief and relieve inflammation. It should be noted that the use of NSAIDs to relieve symptoms, but not always relate directly to the treatment of the disease.

    Immunosuppressants. If pathology is an autoimmune nature, are drugs that suppress the immune activity and reducing the intensity of tissue destruction. The treatment of autoimmune diseases may involve the use of corticosteroid anti-inflammatory drugs, because NSAIDs are in this case ineffective.

    Surgery. Treatment of a herniated disc often involves surgery. Chiropractic herniation is controversial, and say, is it acceptable from the point of view of medicine this method of treatment of a hernia or not, is not possible.

    The success of treatment of inflammation of the spine depends largely on timely diagnosis of the disease: the disease much easier to treat at an early stage. Given the possible serious, and in some cases irreversible effects of inflammatory processes in the spine, monitoring the state of their health is the key to saving the full life.