Neck/Spine

The spine is made up of small bones, called vertebrae, which are stacked on top of one another and create the natural curves of the back. These bones connect to create a canal that protects the spinal cord. The spinal cord extends from the skull to the lower back and travels through the middle of the stacked vertebra. Nerves branch out from the spinal cord through openings in the vertebrae and carry messages between the brain and muscles. Discs sit in between the vertebrae and work as shock absorbers for the spine. Discs have a jelly-like center (nucleus) and an outer ring (annulus). Between the back of the vertebrae are small facet joints that help the spine move. They have a cartilage surface, like a hip or knee joint.

NECK/SPINE

Aging causes degenerative changes in the spine. Intervertebral discs begin to wear away and shrink. In some cases, they may collapse completely and cause the facet joints in the vertebrae to rub against one another resulting in pain and stiffness.

Symptoms

  • Back or neck pain that worsens with bending, lifting, standing, or sitting
  • Back or neck pain that comes and goes
  • Pain that extends from the back or neck into the arms or legs

Diagnostic procedures

If symptoms suggest degenerative disc disease, seek qualified orthopedic medical treatment.  Treatment will encompass a thorough examination, which could include diagnostic procedure(s) such as range of motions tests, palpation, strength and sensation tests, nerve function and reflex assessment, X-rays, an MRI, a CT scan, bone scan, and bone density test in order to determine proper non-operative or operative treatment.
A disc herniates when its jelly-like center (nucleus) pushes against its outer ring (annulus) causing a crack in the outer layer and the soft inner material of the nucleus to rupture out of the disc. When the disc herniates out toward the spinal canal, it puts pressure on the sensitive spinal nerves causing pain. Lifting, pulling, bending, or twisting movements often cause a herniated disc.

Symptoms

  • Numbness, tingling or weakness that goes down leg or arm
  • Back or neck pain that worsens with bending, lifting, standing, walking, or sitting
  • Back or neck pain that comes and goes
  • Pain that extends from the back or neck into the arm or leg

Diagnostic procedures

If symptoms suggest a herniated disc, seek qualified orthopedic medical treatment.  Treatment will encompass a thorough examination, which could include diagnostic procedure(s) such as range of motions tests, palpation, strength and sensation tests, nerve function and reflex assessment, X-rays, an MRI, a CT scan, bone scan, and bone density test in order to determine proper non-operative or operative treatment.
A bulging disc simply bulges outside the space it normally occupies between the vertebrae, but it does not rupture. A bulging disc affects a much larger part of the disc than a herniated disc and is more common. It is usually considered a normal part of the aging and degeneration process. It becomes serious when the disc bulges enough to narrow the spinal canal.

Symptoms

  • Muscle weakness, numbness or tingling in one or both legs or arms
  • Radiating pain in upper arm, forearm and possibly fingers
  • Low back pain

Diagnostic procedures

If symptoms suggest a bulging disk, seek qualified orthopedic medical treatment.  Treatment will encompass a thorough examination, which could include diagnostic procedure(s) such as range of motions tests, palpation, strength and sensation tests, nerve function and reflex assessment, X-rays, an MRI, a CT scan, bone scan, and bone density test in order to determine proper non-operative or operative treatment.
Most people experience low back pain at some point in their lives. The pain can be mild to severe, gradual or sudden, intermittent or constant. Low back pain can make everyday activities difficult. There are many causes of low back pain. It sometimes occurs after a specific movement such as lifting or bending. Just getting older plays a role in many back conditions.

Symptoms

  • Muscle soreness from over-activity
  • Stiffness in low back
  • Back pain that worsens with bending, lifting, standing, walking, or sitting
  • Back pain that comes and goes
  • Pain that extends from the back into the buttock or outer hip area

Diagnostic procedures

If suffering from low back pain, seek qualified orthopedic medical treatment.  Treatment will encompass a thorough examination, which could include diagnostic procedure(s) such as range of motions tests, palpation, strength and sensation tests, nerve function and reflex assessment, X-rays, an MRI, a CT scan, bone scan, and bone density test in order to determine proper non-operative or operative treatment.
Arthritis refers to the degeneration of any joint in the body. While any part of the back can be affected, the lower back is the most common site of arthritis back pain because it bears more of the body’s weight. In the spine, arthritis can result from disc degeneration and loss of water content. When that happens, weight transfers from the disc to the facet joints. They begin to degenerate and develop arthritis and their protective cartilage wears away. This can cause bone to rub on bone, which may trigger new bone to grow in the facet joints to help support the vertebrae. Over time this bone overgrowth could narrow the space for the nerves to pass through.

Symptoms

  • Back pain
  • Burning pain in buttocks or legs
  • Numbness or tingling in buttocks or legs
  • Weakness in the legs
  • Less pain when leaning forward or sitting

Diagnostic procedures

If suffering from low back pain, seek qualified orthopedic medical treatment.  Treatment will encompass a thorough examination, which could include diagnostic procedure(s) such as range of motion tests, palpation, X-rays, an MRI, and a CT scan in order to determine proper non-operative or operative treatment.

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