A tendon, often confused with a ligament, is a connective tissue made of collagen that holds bone and muscle together, whereas a ligament connects bone with bone. The consistency of a tendon is fibrous, tough, and sinewy. A tendon can not only withstand tension, but it also functions as a spring that can add stability to your frame.
There are muscles located up and down the spinal column, and these muscles are held to vertebrae by tendons. Each tendon and muscle helps provide the spine with the ability to rotate, extend, flex, and carry weight.
Tendinopathy, more commonly referred to as tendinitis, is a condition in which a tendon becomes painfully inflamed, often caused by overuse or overexertion. Injuries to a tendon or ligament can be very serious and slow to heal, as there is very little blood circulation in this connective tissue. Treatment often includes rest and hot compresses, which can increase blood flow to the area.
Because tendons are attached to the spinal column, their inflammation could directly press upon nerve tissue in the spine. If an enlarged tendon or other tissue triggers a narrowing of spinal foramina, this is referred to as foraminal stenosis. The foramen, or open spaces on either side of the vertebrae through which nerves travel, become constricted, thereby putting painful pressure on the nerves.
If tendon inflammation is contributing to back or neck pain, possible options for conventional treatment include:
- Heat compress
- Anti-inflammatory medication
- Chiropractic work or physical therapy
Most of the time, inflammation of spinal tendons, discs, facet joints, and vertebrae can be treated with the above methods, However, if you would like more information about treating spinal inflammation with outpatient, laser-assisted procedures, Laser Spine Institute (LSI) can help. We specialize in minimally-invasive, endoscopic procedures that can help you overcome back and neck pain. Contact us today for a free review of your MRI or CT scan.