One of the most important steps in reducing and preventing pain is knowing why it has occurred in the first place. At Innovative Spine Care in Tampa, we are interested in helping our patients get back to a sense of normalcy. Our central focus is to find the source of back or neck pain and address it quickly and without invasive surgery. Here, we discuss three of the most common reasons for back and neck pain.
Osteoarthritis is the term used to describe the breakdown of healthy joints. Although any joint in the body can develop osteoarthritis, people often think of the fingers, knees, and hips. There is little awareness that the spine can also wear down. In this part of the body, osteoarthritis can occur in the facet joints of the spine. These joints support flexion and bending. If the cartilage in a facet joint wears down severely, bone-on-bone friction is likely, and surgery may be the only solution for pain.
The spine has multiple components. The bony aspect of the spine is comprised of individual vertebrae. In between these bones are discs that provide shock absorption. The discs are strong but also somewhat gelatinous at their core. Their structural makeup prevents the bones from rubbing against each other. Discs may degrade for several reasons. When they do, they can become dehydrated, causing the disc to protrude and press against nerve roots. This most commonly occurs in the lumbar spine.
The spinal canal is open at the center to allow the spinal cord to run uninterrupted through the length of the spine. Nerve roots branch off of the spinal cord and exit various segments of the spinal column, made of its vertebrae and discs. Spinal stenosis is the narrowing of the spinal canal that results in nerve compression somewhere along the spine. Where there is nerve compression, there are symptoms. These may include radiating pain, tingling, or numbness away from the spine, such as pain down the arm.
If you are in pain and would like to explore our minimally-invasive spine treatments, contact our Tampa office at 201.342.8060 to schedule your consultation with Dr. Watson.