Spinal orthopedic problems
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Spinal orthopedic problems are common among the adult population of the United States. Even though most neck or back pain can be attributed to muscle strains, trauma or ligament sprains, certain spinal conditions require attention from a physician, and, in some cases, surgery might become an option.
If you are suffering from neck or back pain that is interfering with your life and taking you away from people and activities you love, learning about the causes and treatment options of spinal orthopedic problems can help you make a more informed treatment decision that can get you back to a full and active life.
Sources of back and neck pain
The most common areas for spinal orthopedic problems to arise are the cervical (upper) and lumbar (lower) regions of the spine. The thoracic (middle) region might also develop problems, but the rigid nature of the ribs attached to the thoracic vertebrae limits the movement that can cause breakdown of spinal components. Comparatively, the flexibility of the cervical and lumbar spines makes them much more vulnerable to the development of spinal conditions, such as:
- Herniated discs – This is when the ruptured wall of a spinal disc allows the inner fluid to push into the spinal canal, causing potential nerve compression.
- Bulging discs – A bulging disc comes from intense pressure within the intervertebral disc forces the disc wall to expand into the spinal canal, potentially causing a pinched nerve.
- Degenerative disc disease – Describes the deterioration which causes the spinal discs begin to lose their elasticity during the natural aging process, becoming more prone to damage.
- Spinal stenosis – Stenosis, or narrowing, occurs when the spinal canal or the openings for nerve roots become constricted.
- Osteoarthritis – Natural wear as we age causes the cartilaginous layers that lubricate joints within the spine to deteriorate.
Many spinal orthopedic problems can be treated with a course of conservative treatment as recommended by a physician. Commonly prescribed methods include rest, hot and cold compression and physical therapy. Surgery becomes an option when treatment options, including more advanced therapies like epidural steroid injections, do not bring relief necessary to resume everyday activity.
Laser Spine Institute is the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery which is an alternative to traditional open back procedures. Our state-of-the-art outpatient procedures use a less than 1-inch incision to access the spine, resulting in a shorter recovery period^ and less scarring than traditional open neck or back surgery.
Contact Laser Spine Institute for a no-cost review of your MRI or CT scan* to see if you may be a potential candidate for one of our procedures.