The spine is composed of many vertebrae stacked on top of each other. Between these bones are discs, which act as shock absorbers. As we age, the discs naturally become less flexible and more brittle. Disc degeneration which naturally occurs with old age, can also cause pain.
Spine (neck, mid-back, low back) pain occurs for many reasons. The first step in treating neck and back pain of pain is to identify exactly what is causing it. Before we can diagnose your condition and design a treatment plan, a complete medical history and physical examination are necessary. We will determine if any additional diagnostic tests are needed.
Dr. Anden treats all different kinds of spine pain including:
- Neck pain
- Thoracic back pain
- Low back pain
- Degenerative disc changes
- Facet Pain Syndrome
- Spinal stenosis
- Sciatica (Lumbar radiculopathy)
- Cervical radiculopathy
- Failed back surgery syndrome
- Compression fractures
- Sacroiliac pain
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Sports injuries
- Work related injuries
- Complex regional pain syndrome/RSD
Treatments for spine pain include:
- Regenerative Medicine
- Physical Therapy
- Ultrasound Guided Injections
- Epidural Steroid Injections
- Facet Joint / Medial Branch Nerve Injections
- Rhizotomy / Radiofrequency Neurotomy
- Stellate ganglion blocks
- Selective nerve root blocks
- SI Joint Injections
- Trigger Point Injections
A herniated disc occurs when the outer ring becomes weak or torn and allows the inner portion to slip out. This can happen with age. Certain motions may also cause a herniation. A disc can slip out of place while you are twisting or turning to lift an object. If you have a physically demanding job that requires a lot of lifting, you may be at increased risk for herniated discs.
As you get older, you are more likely to experience a slipped disc. This is because your discs begin to lose some of their protective water content as you age. As a result, they can slip more easily out of place. Overweight individuals are also at increased risk for a herniated disc because their discs must support the additional weight. Weak muscles and a sedentary lifestyle may also contribute to the development of a herniated disc.
Treatments for a herniated disc range from conservative to surgical. The treatment typically depends on the level of discomfort you’re experiencing and how far the disc has slipped out of place.
Some people can relieve a herniated disc using an exercise program that strengthens the back and surrounding muscles. Other patients may need spinal injections to relieve inflammation and swelling around the pinched nerve. It may be tempting to refrain from all physical activity while you’re experiencing the discomfort of a herniated disc, but this can lead to muscle weakness and joint stiffness. Instead, try to remain as active as possible through stretching or low-impact activities such as walking.
Spinal stenosis (or narrowing) is a common condition that occurs when the small spinal canal, which contains the nerve roots and spinal cord, becomes compressed. This causes a “pinching” of the spinal cord and/or nerve roots, which leads to pain, cramping, weakness or numbness.
Some may not feel any effects of the narrowing, but as part of the aging process, most people will eventually notice radiating pain, weakness, and/or numbness secondary to the compression of the nerves or spinal cord.
Degenerative Disc Changes
Degenerative disc disease isn’t actually a disease per se, but rather a term used to describe normal age related changes in the spine. As you age, your discs, like other joints in the body, can degenerate (break down) and become problematic: That’s a natural part of growing older as your body deals with years of strain, overuse, and maybe even misuse. Degenerative changes can occur in people as young as 20..
Facet Joint Pain
Facet joints are the joints in your spine that make your back flexible and enable you to bend and twist. They are like any other joint in the body like the knee or elbow that enable the body to bend and twist. There is a left and a right facet joint in each spinal motion segment.
The facet joints can get inflamed secondary to injury or arthritis and cause pain and stiffness. When the facet joints are affected in the neck or cervical spine it typically causes pain in this area as well headaches and difficulty rotating the head.
Sciatica is pain that stems from the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in our body, branching out from the lower back, down the buttocks, and down the back of the legs.
Part of the sciatic nerve runs down the thigh, calf, foot and toes. The nerve runs through most of your lower body. The most common cause for sciatica is when a herniated disc in the spine presses against the nerve. Sciatica can also be the result of spinal canal narrowing (spinal stenosis), a pinched nerve, pregnancy or even an infection that affects the nerve.
Sciatic symptoms don’t always need surgery to be fixed. Majority of patients will treat their sciatica with non-invasive conservative options.
Dr. Corey Anden is a Board certified Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation physician who has been practicing for more than 10 years. She specializes in diagnosing and treating pain using a customized approach. She typically starts with non-invasive treatments like physical therapy and rehabilitation exercises before turning to spinal procedures.
5825 Harrison Blvd
Ogden, UT 84403
P: (801) 732-5914
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