Damage to discs between vertebrae causes compression of spinal nerve roots

Neck and back pain affects most people at some point in their lives, with spinal nerve compression being a leading cause of that pain. Nerve compression is often a result of the natural aging process, and there are treatments available to relieve the pain and discomfort that this condition causes.

The spine is composed of many bones called vertebrae, which are separated by spinal discs that reduce shock and friction. If these discs degenerate due to age or traumatic injury, they may rupture, allowing the gel-like center of the disc to seep into the spaces between vertebrae. This condition is also known as a herniated disc.

Compression of the spinal nerve roots may occur if the nucleus pushes against the nerves exiting the spinal column, leading to symptoms such as pain, tingling, numbness, weakness and loss of mobility. If left untreated, these symptoms may cause severe damage and negatively affect your everyday life. Read on to learn about the causes of spinal nerve compression and the symptoms available for relief.

The foramen and other causes of spinal nerve compression

There are also small passages in the vertebrae, also known as foramina, through which the spinal nerve roots travel. Sometimes, material such as scar tissue or bone spurs can cause a foramen to constrict around the nerve root as it passes through one of the vertebrae.

A bone spur is a small bony projection that comes from the normal bone around joints. Bone spurs are typically caused by inflammation that stimulates the formation of new bone, with osteoarthritis being the most common cause. The resulting compression from the bone spurs or other material causes symptoms similar to a herniated disc.

Other causes of this spine condition include spinal stenosis, which is the abnormal narrowing of the open spaces and foramen within your spine. This narrowing can put pressure on your spinal cord as well as the nerves that travel through the spine to your arms and legs.

Treatment for spinal nerve compression

If conservative treatments such as pain medication, chiropractic care and physical therapy do not help to relieve your symptoms, Laser Spine Institute offers minimally invasive spine surgery to help treat the root causes of spinal nerve root compression. To learn about our safer and effective alternatives to traditional open spine surgery,^ contact our dedicated team today.

Our minimally invasive decompression and stabilization procedures can address your spine condition without the added risks and lengthy recovery period associated with traditional open back surgery. If your physician’s treatment plan has not had the success you’ve longed for and you’re considering back surgery, reach out to Laser Spine Institute for a free MRI review* to determine if you are a candidate for our minimally invasive spine surgery.