The back vertebrae are some of the most important bones in the body. These relatively small structures interlock with one another to keep the spine stable, but remain flexible enough to allow us to lean forwards, backwards, side to side, and pivot on an axis. However, as a result of this flexibility, the vertebrae are also prone to problems, particularly at the lumbar spine segment in the lower back. The result of back vertebrae deterioration can be a number of painful symptoms and a decided loss of mobility, making treatment a top priority.
The back vertebrae in the thoracic spine (middle back) and lumbar spine (lower back) essentially serve two main purposes: supporting the rib cage in the torso and maintaining flexibility. To accomplish this, the thoracic back vertebrae are largely stable and fused to the ribs, while the lumbar spine vertebrae are larger and more mobile. So, it stands to reason that the lumbar spine would be far more susceptible to damage than the thoracic spine, which is why at some point in their lives nearly everyone has to deal with some degree of lower back pain. This pain and stiffness is further exacerbated as we grow older, our discs wear down, and joints become stricken with arthritis.
In fact, a wide variety of sources can contribute to back vertebrae pain, including:
- Spinal stenosis – the narrowing of the spinal canal
- Bone spurs
- Foraminal stenosis – the narrowing of the canal where nerve roots branch off the spinal cord
- Herniated or bulging discs
- And more
If you are suffering from any of the aforementioned conditions, you are probably considering your treatment options. In most cases, you can sufficiently manage your pain with conservative treatment over several weeks. Specifically, painkillers, strengthening exercises and heat therapy are all effective methods.
However, if these treatments just aren’t enough and you’re still experiencing problems with one of your back vertebrae, you owe it to yourself to schedule a visit to a Laser Spine Institute (LSI) consultation center. Our team of surgeons specializes in the highly technical field of minimally invasive endoscopic spine surgery. These gentle, outpatient spine procedures help alleviate the sources of pain without the uncertainty of open back surgery. To learn more about the causes of back vertebrae problems and the treatment options available to you, contact LSI today.