Many people are affected by decreased mobility of the spine, and decreased mobility can affect different sections of the spinal column. Each portion of the spine has its own level of mobility. The sections of the spine with the greatest mobility are the lumbar and cervical portions. The section of the spine from the base of the neck to the bottom of the rib cage normally has decreased mobility. This section is known as the thoracic spine. The sacral area of the spine, located just above the tailbone cannot move at all.
Different conditions and circumstances can bring about decreased spinal mobility. Many times, decreased mobility of the spine happens as a protective response. In order to prevent the spinal column from being excessively stressed and possibly injured, decreased mobility of the spine occurs. In other cases, decreased spinal mobility is the result of an injury.
In the early stages of scoliosis and degenerative disc disease, decreased mobility of the spine may be barely noticeable. In other cases, decreased mobility is so severe that movement is totally lost in portions of the spine. This is sometimes the case in conditions like ankylosing hyperostosis and ankylosing spondylitis, which cause a gradual onset of decreased mobility of the spine.
When decreased mobility of the spine occurs in these conditions, it can become so severe that the individual is unable to move independently one individual section of the spine. Movement then requires this person to turn the entire body as one unit. People with severely decreased mobility of the spine many times also prefer to crouch down, as stooping over can be very difficult and painful.
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