What does degeneration of the spine mean?

Degeneration of the spine is a very common condition that occurs primarily as a result of the natural aging process. The spine is made up of muscles, ligaments, vertebra and discs. Discs are a particularly important component of the spine, since they act as shock absorbers between the vertebrae, allowing flexibility and preventing the bony vertebrae from rubbing against one another. As the years go by, these gel-like discs begin to dehydrate and weaken, causing them to compress or bulge into the spinal canal under the pressure of the spinal bones. Any change in the structural integrity or placement of these discs can cause a wide range of conditions, including bone spurs and pinched nerves.

If you have a degenerative spine, there are many symptoms that you may be experiencing, including:

  • Increased pain with activities that involve bending or twisting the spine
  • Muscle tension or muscle spasms
  • A “giving out” sensation in which the neck or back feels like it can’t provide support
  • Increased pain when sitting or standing for extended periods of time
  • Radiating pain that feels sharp, stabbing, or hot

If you have a degenerative spine condition and are experiencing symptoms, there are many conservative treatments that may help, including physical therapy, steroid injections and medication management. In many cases, nonsurgical methods prove successful in treating neck or back pain, but some individuals are best treated with surgery. At Laser Spine Institute, our board-certified surgeons+ have performed more than 100,000 minimally invasive surgeries that require a less than 1-inch incision. These procedures are often clinically appropriate when compared to traditional open spine surgeries.

Contact Laser Spine Institute today to learn more about the treatment options we offer to those living with a degenerative spine. We’d be happy to provide you with a free MRI review* to determine whether you’re a candidate for our minimally invasive procedures.