Did you know that nearly 80% of adults experience back pain at some point in their lives? The severity of the pain can vary from person-to-person and can range widely from acute, minor pain to long-term chronic suffering. If you’re experiencing acute back pain, your pain probably comes and goes, or feels like a minor irritation or dull ache. Chronic pain on the other hand, can be debilitating and significantly diminish your quality of life. But, regardless of the type of back pain you are experiencing, it’s extremely important to determine why the pain is occurring. Many times, the pain is the result of an underlying issue or spine condition – which should never be ignored.
What causes spine conditions?
There are a number of issues that can change the structure of the spine or damage the vertebrae and surrounding tissue – ultimately resulting in a diagnosis of a spinal condition. Some of the most common issues that result in spinal conditions include infections, injuries, tumors and aging.
The reason people experience pain from spinal conditions is due to bone changes putting pressure on the spinal cord or nerves. These changes can also limit movement and proper function of the spine.
What are common spine conditions?
While there are numerous spinal conditions, some are more prominent than others. Below are a few of the more common conditions:
- Bulging Disc – A bulging disc occurs when the soft, gel-like center of a vertebral disc starts to push outward against the disc’s harder outer layer.
- Herniated Disc – Unlike a bulging disc, a herniated disc results when a crack in the tough outer layer of cartilage allows some of the softer inner cartilage to protrude out of the disc.
- Degenerative Disc Disease – Degenerative disc disease occurs as the result of the aging process. As we age, spinal discs start to wear down and cannot properly absorb shock to the spine, which can cause pain over time.
- Sciatica – Sciatica refers to a painful condition that radiates from your sciatic nerve down to your legs. The pain associated with this condition is the result of a pinched nerve, usually caused by a herniated disc or bone spur applying pressure to your spinal nerves.
- Spinal Stenosis – Spinal stenosis is a condition that refers to the narrowing of the spaces within your spinal column. This can put pressure on the spinal cord and nerves within and around the spinal column and is most commonly caused by wear-and-tear in the spine.
How are spine conditions treated?
In many cases, spinal conditions can be treated without surgery. Non-surgical treatments may include pain medication, epidural injections, or physical therapy and can often manage pain for weeks, months or years to provide some relief. However, depending on the type and severity of an individual’s condition and whether or not non-surgical treatment options have worked, surgery may be recommended.
How do I know if I have a spine condition?
Since every patient and condition is different and requires a unique treatment plan, it’s important to schedule a consultation with a spine specialist in order to determine a diagnosis. By using one of our assessment tools or requesting a free MRI review, Dr. Alexander and the team at Southern Laser Spine can better answer any questions you have and offer recommendations on a possible course of action.
At Southern Laser Spine, our goal is to provide our patients with the information and help that they need in order to find relief from neck pain or back pain. For more information about our minimally invasive spine condition treatments, please request a free consultation or contact our team today.