Back pain has become a common affliction among today’s adult population. Due to an increase in sedentarism, more and more people start experiencing it rather early on in life. And while many of us dismiss it as a passing bout of discomfort, it usually signals that a more serious condition such as thecal sac impingement is at hand. 



Image Source: Flickr

In order to manage the issue, it’s important to understand what it is, as well as what causes thecal sac impingement and how it can be treated or prevented. As always, when it comes to health-related matters, being informed is the best thing that you can do for the body’s well-being and your own peace of mind. 

About the Thecal Sac
The thecal sac consists of a dura mater tube that encloses the spinal cord and cauda equina. Furthermore, it also contains essential cerebrospinal fluid that delivers nutrients and maintains buoyancy in the area. In layman’s terms, that means that it is a thick membrane which surrounds, protects and nourishes the spine and all its nerves and their roots. 

In addition, the CSF it contains is vital in pain management because neuroinflammation, neuroprotection, and neuroregeneration all depend on it and its flow. All in all, the thecal sac is an indispensable component that ensures and promotes proper spinal health, and one’s well-being in general. 

Any damage sustained by it can lead to serious complications that reduce mobility and trigger unbearable discomfort in the worst of cases. If the flow of cerebrospinal fluid is disrupted by abnormalities in the thecal sac, headache, weakness, tinnitus, and blurring of the vision may develop alongside feelings of pain. 

Thecal Sac Impingement
Thecal sac impingement is the most common disorder of the spinal cord that affects this particular component. Commonly known as compression, the affliction can have multiple causes that lead to the same outcome, namely pressure and damage at the level of the protective layer of the spine.  

Causes
The term ‘impingement’ generally refers to one thing pressing against another. In the case of the thecal sac, it entails that a structure is adding pressure to it, thus leading to damage. Because the spinal cord is a body part prone to many afflictions, said structures can be a variety of things. Thus, the main causes behind the compression include, but are not limited to:

herniated discs; 
tumors;
spondylolysis or spondylolisthesis;
ankylosing spondylitis;
chronic adhesive arachnoiditis;
spinal canal stenosis;
synovial cysts;
osteophytes;
spinal fractures; 
spinal abscess;
spinal hematoma;
caudal nerve roots;
and epidural lipomatosis.

While in most cases the distress leads to nothing more than an accentuated ache, some patients can end up with an impacted spine. Therefore, if one suffers from thecal sac impingement, proper treatment must be applied as soon as possible in order to promote recovery and avoid further complications. 

Prevention
If your job and lifestyle lead you to being prone to spinal health complications, impingement can’t really be prevented. Nevertheless, there is a solution that is effective most of the time. Exercises that engage this area of the body are a great way to keep it toned and strong, which reduces the risk of damage later in life.

Most weightlifting workouts are recommended for this purpose, as are pull-ups or rowing. And if you’re a fan of other sports, you can reap similar benefits by always engaging your core in the motions you perform. At the end of the day, there isn’t a universal formula. Fortunately, staying active always helps promote well-being.

Treatment
If you haven’t managed to prevent thecal sac impingement, it’s of the utmost importance to start treating it as soon as possible. Remember that pain medication might aid relieve the discomfort you are experiencing, but it is merely a temporary solution. If you want to see visible improvements, you must engage in beneficial exercise.

Therapeutic workouts include stretching, yoga Pilates, and Tai Chi. And if you’re looking for a more hands-on approach to your therapy, try chiropractic treatments, massage or acupuncture. These are all viable solutions that can reduce and eventually eliminate compression at the level of the spinal cord, as well as alleviate the unpleasant symptoms it causes. 

Final Thoughts
Although not many of us are properly informed on the topic, thecal sac impingement is a common affliction of the spinal cord that can be caused by numerous secondary complications. Once it appears, severe pain will ensue, and if left untreated it can lead to more serious damage. Thus, treatment is essential.

As for the proper course of action in this respect, therapeutic exercises such as stretching, yoga, Pilates, or Tai Chi. Hands-on approaches such as massage or acupuncture also work, and chiropractic therapy is also recommended. If pursued in a correct and timely manner, this can correct the issue and alleviate symptoms.