Medically, there are two types of pain related to the spine. First, acute pain is used to describe sudden, non-permanent pain. The second type of pain is known as chronic pain, which is any pain that lasts longer than three months. Most spine-related pain can be linked to muscular and ligament strain, however some chronic pain is due to greater conditions, and should be addressed by a medical professional. Though most spinal pain heals over time or by conservative treatments, some patients with chronic pain do not receive relief and begin to look into surgery as an option.
Causes of spinal chronic pain
Chronic spinal pain can often be linked to spine conditions resulting from the degeneration that occurs during the normal aging process. These conditions include:
- Degenerative disc disease – As the intervertebral discs begin to lose their water, they shrink in size. This causes the discs to bulge and place pressure on surrounding nerve roots.
- Spinal stenosis – Stenosis occurs when the spinal canal is narrowed due to tissue or bone mass. This constricts the nerve roots, causing pain and numbness.
- Herniated disc – When an intervertebral disc splits or tears, the nucleus is released into the spinal canal. This can cause compression to the surrounding nerves, subsequently causing the patient’s pain.
- Bulging disc – When pressure is placed on the intervertebral disc, it can bulge beyond its locality. This can potentially result in pinched nerves.
- Arthritis of the spine – During the aging process, the cartilage that lubricates the joints in the spine deteriorates. This can lead to other conditions, such as bone spurs and bulging discs.
Treatment for chronic spine pain
Patients dealing with chronic pain should first explore conservative treatment. If after exhausting those treatments you are still experiencing pain, contact Laser Spine Institute. Laser Spine Institute specializes in treating a number of conditions that cause chronic pain through minimally invasive surgery. Call today to receive a free review of your MRI or CT scan.