Spine Conditions

 

Cervical

What causes neck pain?

Neck pain is a very common condition many of us face on a daily basis. Depending on the cause, this can be short term, or can be a long term, chronic condition. Neck pain can be caused by poor posture, injury, normal aging, or other traumatic events.

Neck strain caused by poor posture is a common condition for people who work primarily at a desk for long periods of the day. Leaning into a computer screen or hunching over a workbench may cause neck pain that is temporary, but can easily become chronic if the habit persists.

Injury caused by sports related accidents, or traumatic events such as motor vehicle accidents can also cause neck pain. These can become more serious if they go untreated. Neck pain can usually be treated by non-surgical methods such as stretching or physical therapy. More serious injuries can cause problems such as cervical disc herniations that may require further treatment.

Some neck pain is caused by normal aging. Degeneration of the cervical spine, or osteoarthritis, is common in the older population. This condition is called cervical spondylosis. Treatment options are available for this condition to help ease neck pain. If you think you may have any of these conditions, contact us today to see how we can help you manage your pain.

When should I seek further treatment?

If you are experiencing neck pain that is accompanied by numbness, tingling, loss of sensation, and/or weakness in your hands and fingers, it may be time to contact your healthcare provider. Other serious symptoms to tell your healthcare provider is if you have shooting pain down your shoulders and arms. These symptoms may be a sign of cervical radiculopathy, or other cervical conditions.


Thoracic

What causes thoracic back pain?

The thoracic spine refers to the upper and mid-back, the area between the cervical and lumbar spine. Thoracic spine pain is most commonly caused by physical trauma, such as sports related injuries, motor vehicle accidents, and repetitive injury such as daily lifting from certain occupations. Anatomical defects such as having an extra rib, thoracic tumors, or pregnancy can also cause thoracic pain.

How can I treat my thoracic pain?

Thoracic pain can be treated with stretching, limiting activity, physical therapy, and injection therapy. In some cases, surgery may be required. If you are experiencing pain in the upper and mid-back that radiates into the ribs, chest, or flank, contact your medical provider to see if surgical intervention is required, contact your medical provider to see if surgical intervention is required.


Lumbar

What causes lumbar back pain?

Low back pain is pain and stiffness in the lower back. It is one of the most common reasons people miss work. Low back pain is usually caused when a ligament or muscle holding a vertebra in its proper position is strained. Vertebrae are bones that make up the spinal column through which the spinal cord passes. When these muscles or ligaments become weak, the spine loses its stability, resulting in pain. Because nerves reach all parts of the body from the spinal cord, back problems can lead to pain or weakness in almost any part of the body.
Low back pain can occur if your job involves lifting and carrying heavy objects, or if you spend a lot of time sitting or standing in one position or bending over. It can be caused by a fall or by unusually strenuous exercise. It can be brought on by the tension and stress that cause headaches in some people. It can even be brought on by violent sneezing or coughing. People who are overweight may have low back pain because of the added stress on their back. Back pain may occur when the muscles, joints, bones, and connective tissues of the back become inflamed as a result of an infection or an immune system problem.

Arthritic disorders as well as some congenital and degenerative conditions may cause back pain. Back pain accompanied by loss of bladder or bowel control, difficulty in moving your legs, or numbness or tingling in your arms or legs may indicate an injury to your spine and nerves, which requires immediate medical treatment.

Symptoms:
• pain in the back or legs
• stiffness and limited motion
Be sure to see your healthcare provider if:
• you have weakness in your leg, especially if you
cannot lift your foot, because this may be a sign of
nerve damage
• you have new bowel or bladder problems as well
as back pain, which may be a sign of severe injury
to your spinal cord
• you have pain that gets worse despite treatment

How is lumbar back pain treated?

The early stages of back pain with muscle spasms should be treated with ice, medication therapy, stretching and exercise, and physical therapy. If back pain persists, injection therapy may be an option. If all conservative therapies have been tried and failed, surgery may be recommended.


Spinal Stenosis

What is spinal stenosis?

Spinal stenosis is a condition in which there is a narrowing that occurs between the spaces within the spine. This can put pressure on the spinal cord, and the associated nerves that travel through the spine, and into the arms and legs. Spinal stenosis is most common in the neck and the lower back.

Symptoms:

-pain

-tingling and numbness in the spine, arms, and/or legs

-muscle weakness

-problems with bowel/bladder control

How is spinal stenosis treated?

The most common cause of spinal stenosis is osteoarthritis due to normal aging. In severe cases of spinal stenosis, surgical intervention may be required to create more space between the spinal cord and nerves. Other treatments include: medication therapy, physical therapy, and injection therapy.