Q:

Why would someone need spinal compression treatment?

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People suffering from symptoms of spinal compression, including back pain, numbness, weakness, cramping or lack of coordination of the arms, legs, hands and feet, can benefit from physical therapy, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. Physical therapy patients perform exercises to strengthen the back, leg and abdominal muscles and learn to perform functional movement within a safe range of motion. In some cases a back brace is used to protect the spine and cervical collar.

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Conditions such as osteoarthritis, spinal injury, abnormal spine alignment, bone disease or rheumatoid arthritis can cause spinal compression, and physical therapy treatment is often supplemented with medication, states Johns Hopkins Medicine. Some patients require surgery to remove bone spurs, relieve pressure on the spine or repair damaged vertebrae. Alternative forms of spine therapy include acupuncture and chiropractic care.

Although spinal compression cannot be prevented in many cases, exercise plays a key role in spinal health, notes Johns Hopkins Medicine. Strength and flexibility exercises that target the muscles supporting the spine help prevent gradual wear and stress to the structure. People should practice lifting heavy things safely. Overweight or obese people should lose weight in order to reduce stress on the back and spine. Additionally, learning good posture and sleeping on a firm mattress are natural aids to spine health.

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