Every day you walk upright; you lay down on your back; you practice yoga; you run, swim, bike and climb…but how often do you think about the impact of all of these activities on the delicate and complicated support system known as your spine?
Your spine is a beautiful sculpture created by combining vertebrae (small, individual bone masses) with gel like discs. The vertebrae, each a separate bone, lock together and between them sits a plush disc ready to cushion each of your jolting movements, you know, like the running, standing walking, biking and all the rest of the activities we mentioned above. This structure, while complicated, is what gives your back the flexibility it needs to bend and move as it does. In order to truly understand this, consider how your leg bends. It bends in only one place—the knee. Your back, on the other hand, can bend and roll up all the way from your hips to your shoulders. That is thanks to the structure of your vertebrae.
Any of these activities, when done too aggressively or with the wrong posture, can result in a herniated disc. A herniated disc occurs when that gel like disc between the vertebrae ruptures and no longer creates a cushion between the two bones. As you can imagine, this results in the painful pressing together of these two vertebrae and possible bone loss as well as the inability to comfortably take part in everyday activities.
But what if you didn’t do anything aggressive or unnatural before your disc became herniated? What if you just had a minor trauma—one that most people would escape injury free? If that describes your situation, then you might have Schmorl’s Nodes syndrome.
About Schmorl’s Nodes Syndrome
Schmorl’s nodes is thought to be a deformity in your vertebrae that allows the cartilage from your discs to poke through and create a weak spot in your disc with some fluid leakage, obviously weakening your disc to impact or trauma and making every step you take risky. Although it is important to note that it has also happened to normal individuals after an extreme trauma.
This disorder was discovered by a German doctor in 1927 and is thought to be in many people who never actually exhibit symptoms of the disease. If it is found, it is because of the extreme back pain that it causes, described by one sufferer as extending from his very eyelashes to the tips of his toes.
Schmorl’s Nodes Treatment
Schmorl’s nodes treatment generally consists simply of pain management. Through aggressive pain medications and morphine patches as well as therapeutic massages conducted by chiropractors, many patients are able to love relatively normal lives although they are encouraged to avoid all heavy lifting and many types of exercise.
Some patients undergoing Schmorl’s nodes treatment will be asked to wear a brace for a number of months and use an anti-inflammatory medication. More aggressive cases may be treated by fusing portions of the spine together to prevent the vertebrae from rubbing together and causing pain and bone deterioration.
While no one wants a diagnosis of Schmorl’s nodes and Schmorl’s nodes treatment are a long way from an actual cure, you can still live a full life once you have the disease. As with any back injury you must always be cognizant of any undue pressure you are putting on your spine and be sure to manage your pain in a healthy way.
If you think you may have Schmorl’s nodes or any back disorder, see a chiropractor immediately. The back is a delicate structure and you can make your situation much worse if you let it go untreated.