Indications that a serious injury has occurred include abnormal bowel or bladder function, bilateral sciatica (pain down both legs), significant nocturnal pain, weight loss, fever, and severe pain. Symptoms such as loss of balance or dexterity, constant numbness, or weakness could also indicate neurological issues. In these cases, patients are referred for a diagnostic workup that may include X-ray, MRI, and CT scan. After a diagnosis, treatment can include physical therapy, complementary medicine (acupuncture, magnetic therapy, herbal medications, and more) and surgery for serious conditions.
“For more complicated spinal problems such as scoliosis, stenosis, fractures, or injuries from trauma, medical intervention is usually necessary for effective treatment,” says Dr. Lenke, “but each person with or without spinal problems can benefit from adopting healthier lifestyle habits to keep your spine as strong as possible.”