Degenerative spine overview

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, discs, muscles, ligaments and tissue. In the cervical and lumbar regions of the spine, these elements are exposed to high stress from daily wear 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, such as pain medication, physical therapy and chiropractic manipulation. Read on to learn more about degenerative spine conditions and the treatments available to ease your discomfort.

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 (osteoarthritis). This condition 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 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 minimally invasive procedures offer a safer and effective alternative to traditional open neck and back surgery.^

Since 2005, the dedicated team at Laser Spine Institute has helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from chronic neck and back pain, setting us apart as the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery. Our board-certified surgeons+ use a less than 1-inch incision and muscle-sparing techniques in order to alleviate symptoms and provide patients with lasting relief.

At Laser Spine Institute, our minimally invasive spine surgery is performed in state-of-the-art facilities located throughout the country that are built around patient-centered care. Through a no-cost MRI review* of your spine, we can evaluate your condition to see if you are a candidate for one of our outpatient procedures. Reach out to us today so we can help you on your journey to wellness.