Articles

  • Disease

    Cervical spondylosis

    Cervical spondylosis is a disorder that results from abnormal growth of the bones of the neck and degeneration and mineral deposits in the cushions between the vertebrae. Progressive neck pain is a key indication of cervical spondylosis. It may be the only symptom in many cases. Examination often shows limited ability to bend the head toward the shoulders and limited ability to rotate the head.  The goal of treatment is relief of pain and prevention of permanent spinal cord and nerve root injury.

    Cervical spondylosis is a disorder in which there is abnormal wear on the cartilage and bones of the neck (cervical vertebrae). It is a common cause of chronic neck pain.

  • Surgery

    Diskectomy

    Herniated nucleus pulposus is a condition in which part or all of the soft, gelatinous central portion of an intervertebral disk is forced through a weakened part of the disk, resulting in back pain and nerve root irritation.

    Diskectomy is surgery to remove all or part of a cushion that helps protect your spinal column. These cushions, called disks, separate your spinal bones (vertebrae).

  • Disease

    Diskitis

    The spine is divided into several sections.  The cervical vertebrae make up the neck.  The thoracic vertebrae comprise the chest section and have ribs attached.  The lumbar vertebrae are the remaining vertebrae below the last thoracic bone and the top of the sacrum.  The sacral vertebrae are caged within the bones of the pelvis, and the coccyx  represents the terminal vertebrae or vestigial tail.

    Diskitis is swelling (inflammation) and irritation of the space between the bones of the spine (intervertebral disk space).

  • Surgery

    Foraminotomy

    Foraminotomy is surgery that widens the opening in your back where nerve roots leave your spinal canal. You may have a narrowing of the nerve opening (foraminal stenosis).

  • Disease

    Herniated disk

    The main nerve traveling down the leg is the sciatic nerve. Pain associated with the sciatic nerve usually originates higher along the spinal cord when nerve roots become compressed or damaged from narrowing of the vertebral column or from a slipped disk. Symptoms can include tingling, numbness, or pain, which radiates to the buttocks legs and feet.

    A herniated (slipped) disk occurs when all or part of a disk is forced through a weakened part of the disk. This may place pressure on nearby nerves or the spinal cord.

  • Disease

    Kyphosis

    Kyphosis is a curving of the spine that causes a bowing of the back, such that the apex of the angle points backwards leading to a hunchback or slouching posture.

    Kyphosis is a curving of the spine that causes a bowing or rounding of the back, which leads to a hunchback or slouching posture.

  • Surgery

    Laminectomy

    Laminectomy is surgery to remove the lamina. This is part of the bone that makes up a vertebra in the spine. Laminectomy may also be done to remove bone spurs in your spine. The procedure can take pressure off your spinal nerves or spinal cord.

  • Disease

    Low back pain - acute

    There are five lumbar vertebrae located in the lower back. These vertebrae receive the most stress and are the weight-bearing portion of the back. The lumbar vertebrae allow movements such as flexion and extension, and some lateral flexion.

    Low back pain refers to pain that you feel in your lower back. You may also have back stiffness, decreased movement of the lower back, and difficulty standing straight. Acute back pain can last for a few days to a few weeks.

  • Symptoms

    Neck pain

    The spinal vertebrae are separated by cartilage disks filled with a gelatinous substance, that provide cushioning to the spinal column. These disks may move out of place or rupture from trauma or strain, especially if degenerative changes have occurred in the disk. When the disk moves out of place nerve roots (large nerves that branch out from the spinal cord) may become compressed resulting in neurological symptoms, such as pain, sensory and motor changes.

    Neck pain is discomfort in any of the structures in the neck. These include the muscles, nerves, bones (vertebrae), and the disks between the bones.

  • Disease

    Sciatica

    The main nerve traveling down the leg is the sciatic nerve. Pain associated with the sciatic nerve usually originates higher along the spinal cord when nerve roots become compressed or damaged from narrowing of the vertebral column or from a slipped disk. Symptoms can include tingling, numbness, or pain, which radiates to the buttocks legs and feet.

    Sciatica refers to pain, weakness, numbness, or tingling in the leg. It is caused by injury to or pressure on the sciatic nerve. Sciatica is a symptom of another medical problem, not a medical condition on its own.

  • Surgery

    Spinal fusion

    Abnormal curvature in the spine is known as scoliosis, and generally begins just at the onset of puberty and progresses during the period of rapid growth.  Most junior high schools routinely screen for scoliosis because, if caught early, progressive spine curvature can be prevented. Scoliosis affects girls much more frequently than boys.

    Spinal fusion is surgery to permanently join together two or more bones in the spine so there is no movement between them. These bones are called vertebrae.

  • Injury

    Spinal injury

    These are the five vertebra of the lower back. The last vertebra (on the upper left of the picture) attaches to the sacrum, and the top vertebra (on the right of the picture) attaches to the thoracic section of the back. The vertebra are broader and stronger than the other bones in the spine. This allows them to absorb the added pressure applied to the lower back, but this area remains a common site of injury. The vertebra are numbered from one to five and are labeled L1, L2, L3 etc. from the higher bones to the lower.

    The spinal cord contains the nerves that carry messages between your brain and body. The cord passes through your neck and back. A is very serious because it can cause loss of movement (paralysis) below the site of the injury.

  • Disease

    Spinal stenosis

    The main nerve traveling down the leg is the sciatic nerve. Pain associated with the sciatic nerve usually originates higher along the spinal cord when nerve roots become compressed or damaged from narrowing of the vertebral column or from a slipped disk. Symptoms can include tingling, numbness, or pain, which radiates to the buttocks legs and feet.

    Spinal stenosis is narrowing of the spinal column that causes pressure on the spinal cord, or narrowing of the openings (called neural foramina) where spinal nerves leave the spinal column.

  • Disease

    Spondylolisthesis

    Spondylolisthesis is a condition in which a bone (vertebra) in the spine slips out of the proper position onto the bone below it.

  • Injury

    Tailbone trauma

    The tailbone (coccyx) is the small bone at the lower tip of the spine.  The most common cause of injury to the tailbone is a backward fall onto a hard surface, such as a slippery floor or ice.

    Tailbone trauma is an injury to the small bone at the lower tip of the spine.

  • Special Topic

    Taking care of your back at home

    Rest on a firm surface for several hours to treat and alleviate symptoms of a strained back.  Anti-inflammatory medications (such as ibuprofen) can help, and stretching and strengthening of the back muscles is important to avoid another back injury.