Learning about spinal anatomy from your back doctor

If you are looking for a back doctor in Orlando, FL because you are experiencing debilitating back pain, in addition to seeking treatment you should also expect to learn about your spine. Educating yourself as a patient is an often-overlooked part of the recovery process. By having knowledge about spinal anatomy, you can understand how your daily habits and lifestyle choices may be affecting your condition. By learning more about how problems with the spinal joints and discs lead to chronic back pain, you can work more closely with your back doctor to give yourself a better chance of finding lasting relief.

How spinal anatomy contributes to back pain

As we grow older, the spine can begin to deteriorate because it is exposed to a great deal of stress-inducing movement and also supports much of the body’s weight. Over the years, wear and tear naturally take a toll. As your back doctor may explain, two main parts are at a high risk for problems. They are the:

  • Facet joints. These joints connect adjacent vertebrae and are responsible for providing the spine with basic flexibility. Like other joints in the body they can wear down and cause conditions like arthritis and bone spurs due to increased bone-on-bone friction
  • Spinal discs. The discs cushion the vertebrae and absorb shock from bending and flexing. Problems arise when the wall of the pad becomes worn, allowing it to bulge or rupture.

Symptoms of spine conditions and treatments

Issues with the facet joints or discs aren’t always painful and may lead to nothing more than mild aches and pains that can be addressed with over-the-counter medication and rest. However, when deterioration advances to the point that the spinal cord or a nearby nerve root becomes constricted, chronic pain, numbness and tingling throughout the extremities, muscle fatigue and other similar symptoms may develop, requiring treatment.

While conservative treatments like medication or physical therapy are often effective for treating spine conditions, they don’t work for everyone. Your back doctor may recommend surgery if weeks or months of conservative options have not brought the relief necessary for a good quality of life.

Patients in Orlando who are considering spine surgery can contact the team at Laser Spine Institute to learn more about the benefits of our minimally invasive spine surgery. Our state-of-the-art outpatient facility in Tampa offers patients a streamlined experience with less risk of complication compared to traditional open spine procedures.

For a no-cost MRI or CT scan review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures, contact us today.