There are numerous conditions associated with the degeneration of the spine, specifically within the cervical and lumbar regions of the spine. The spine is composed of joints, vertebrae, intervertebral discs, muscles, ligaments and tissue. In the cervical and lumbar regions of the spine, these elements are exposed to high stress from daily wear and tear over time. These areas of the spine are also subject to high-impact movements and weight bearing. This degeneration is generally caused by the natural aging process, and often associated pain is treatable through conservative methods.
Degenerative spine conditions
Degenerative spine conditions often present no signs or symptoms, and frequently go unnoticed until the onset of symptoms occurs. The symptoms are caused by the degeneration of certain elements in conjunction with the nerve roots and pathways. When these elements move out of their primary location, due to the degeneration, they may compress or irritate surrounding nerves, causing the patient pain, weakness, tingling or numbness. Conditions that can lead to nerve compression include:
- Arthritis of the spine – Arthritis of the spine, or osteoarthritis, occurs when the cartilage that lubricates the vertebrae begins to deteriorate.
- Avascular necrosis – When bones lack the blood necessary to keep them alive, avascular necrosis occurs.
- Degenerative disc disease – As we age, our intervertebral discs begin to lose the water that makes up their mass. As this happens, the discs begin to shrink and extended pressure is added, sometimes resulting in bulging or herniation.
- Spinal stenosis – This condition is the narrowing of the spinal canal.
- Spondylolisthesis – Spondylolisthesis is the movement of one vertebra over another.
Treatment for degenerative spine conditions
Degeneration itself is often asymptomatic and requires little to no treatment. However, if after exhausting all conservative methods you are still experiencing pain due to a degenerative condition, contact Laser Spine Institute. Our effective minimally invasive procedures may be able to treat your conditions.