Spinal tendons — how to find relief from inflammation

A tendon is a connective tissue made of collagen that holds bone and muscle together. The consistency of a tendon is fibrous, tough and sinewy. A tendon can not only withstand tension but can also function as a spring, adding stability to your frame.

Like the rest of the body, the muscles that connect to the spine are attached with tendons. Each tendon and muscle help provide the spine with the ability to rotate, extend, flex and carry weight.

Inflammation of the spinal tendons

Tendinopathy, more commonly referred to as tendonitis, 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 to 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. In addition to local irritation, compressed nerves can cause radiating symptoms to other parts of the body, including tingling, numbness and muscle weakness.

Treatment of tendon issues

Consult with your primary care doctor about neck or back pain lasting more than a few days or weeks at the most. After a physical examination, review of medical history and diagnostic imagery like an X-ray or MRI hopefully diagnose the source of pain, your doctor can develop a treatment plan. If tendon inflammation is contributing to neck or back pain, possible options for conventional treatment include:

  • Hot and cold compression therapy
  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • Chiropractic work or physical therapy
  • Rest

In many cases, 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, minimally invasive procedures, Laser Spine Institute can help. We specialize in minimally invasive procedures that can help you find relief from neck and back pain without the hospital stay and long recovery times^ that go with traditional procedures.

Contact us for your no-cost MRI review* to find out if you may be a candidate for one of our minimally invasive procedures.