Human spine is made up of 33 vertebrae in total. There are intervertebral discs, facet joints and many strong ligaments connect to the vertebrae, allowing us to perform movements such as bending, extending and twisting. It can also maintain the stability between the vertebrae. As we grow older, in addition to the gradual degeneration of the intervertebral discs, the other important structures that maintain spinal stability will gradually lose their original strength and elasticity too. The stability and loading capacity of the spine will gradually deteriorate and even develop chronic inflammation, collectively referred to as degenerative spine.

Self File | Degenerative Spine 脊椎退化 _Back Pain Causes, Physiotherapy Treatment




The formation of osteophytes is caused by degeneration. It is hoped that the osteophytes will cover the intervertebral discs or facet joints to restore a certain extent of their stability. This process is a normal aging process. However, if the degeneration of the intervertebral segments is too fast, or only limited to one or two vertebral segments, it may cause some very uncomfortable spinal pain and deteriorate to some kinds of pathology such as:

  • Disc herniation
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Spondylithesis
  • Degenerative scoliosis

 Self File | 脊椎退化 Degenerative Spine_腰背痛成因物理治療1



Risk Factors
  • Manual work nature
  • Long-term poor posture
  • People with spine injury history



Common Symptoms
  • Back pain during movement
  • Neurological claudication caused by compression on nerves (need to take rest after walking for a while before you can continue)
  • Sciatica (numbness along the lower extremities along the sides of the buttocks, going to posterior thighs to the lower legs and feet)
  • Symptoms of back pain and soreness when standing for a long time or changing posture




In terms of management, if it is only a non-complex spinal pain and is not associated with a structural problem (such as displacement) or nerve compression, the case then can be treated based on the symptoms for functional and postrual improvement. Taking non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) can relieve spinal inflammation; maintaining the correct posture and short-term use of lumbar support can give proper rest to the inflamed spine; in the long term, weight control, aerobic exercise and physiotherapy can strengthen the back and abdominal muscles, effectively reduce stress and improve functions of spine.

Self File | 脊椎退化 Degenerative Spine_腰背痛成因物理治療運動1

Self File | 脊椎退化 Degenerative Spine_腰背痛成因物理治療運動2


Self File | 脊椎退化 Degenerative Spine_腰背痛成因物理治療運動21

Self File | 脊椎退化 Degenerative Spine_腰背痛成因物理治療運動22

Self File | 脊椎退化 Degenerative Spine_腰背痛成因物理治療運動23

Self File | 脊椎退化 Degenerative Spine_腰背痛成因物理治療運動24



Preventive Measures
  • Maintain good posture when carrying heavy objects, and one can use lumbar support to protect the spine
  • Avoid carrying heavy objects by your own
  • Heavy items should be stored at waist level for easy transfer
  • Pay attention to spine alignment and posture. Get up from bed by sideway approach
  • Proper exercise regime includes stretching and strengthening of spine

Self File | Degenerative Spine 脊椎退化物理治療背痛6

Self File | Degenerative Spine 脊椎退化物理治療背痛7






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