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 other uncomfortable symptoms.

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 injury, they may rupture, allowing the gelatinous material within to seep into the spaces between vertebrae, also known as a herniated disc.

Compression of the spinal nerve roots may occur if the inner pushes against the nerves exiting the spinal column. This compression can lead to symptoms such as pain, tingling, numbness, and loss of mobility. If left untreated, these symptoms may cause severe damage and negatively affect your everyday life.

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 piece of bone that projects from the normal bone around joints. Bone spurs are typically caused by inflammation that stimulates 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 spinal nerve root compression include spinal stenosis — the abnormal narrowing of the open spaces and foramen within your spine. This narrowing can put pressure on your spinal cord and the nerves that travel through the spine to your arms and legs, and also result in symptoms similar to a herniated disc.

Treatment for spinal nerve compression

If conservative treatments such as medication and physical therapy do not help to relieve pain and other symptoms, Laser Spine Institute offers minimally invasive spine surgery to help treat the root causes of spinal nerve root compression.

Our minimally invasive decompression and stabilization procedures can address your spine condition without the added risks and inconvenience of 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, contact Laser Spine Institute for a no-cost MRI review* to determine if you are a candidate for our minimally invasive spine surgery.