Spina Bifida Occulta
Spina bifida occulta is common. A recent study of the available literature suggests that the most accurate estimate is that 5-10% of people whose spines have been examined have spina bifida occulta. Even though these people have a very slightly increased chance of a slipped disc, very few people with spina bifida occulta will ever have any problems because of it. If a person has no symptoms from spina bifida occulta as a child, then it is unlikely that they will have any as an adult.
Most people will not even be aware they have spina bifida occulta unless it shows up on an x-ray, for which they have for some unrelated reason. For the majority of people with spina bifida occulta, it is a minor fault involving one vertebra in the lower back. The unfortunate use of this term for such a minor fault can lead to distress for the person concerned.
It should be considered as insignificant, both for the person and his or her children. It must be emphasized, for the vast majority of those affected, having spina bifida occulta is of no consequence whatsoever. Often people only become aware they have spina bifida occulta after having a back x-ray for an unrelated problem. However, for a few (about 1 in 1,000) there can be associated problems. For people with spina bifida occulta, there may be associated difficulties which may include: leg length inequality, gait abnormalities, foot deformity, back pain, weakness and reduced sensation of the legs, change in hand function, bladder infections and incontinence and bowel problems. These problems arise because the spinal cord becomes tethered to the backbone. The Chiropractors at Vitality Clinic are trained to treat any of the symptoms associated with spina bifida occulta.
Often a child who is previously symptomless may experience difficulties during the rapid growth of adolescence. This is due to the nerves of the spinal cord being overstretched and therefore, the symptoms may become progressively worse.
Enjoy your day,
Dr. Crysta Serné
Chiropractor and owner of Vitality Clinic