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The spine begins at just about the base of the skull, and it goes all the way down to your low back, right around your pelvis. The spine is made up of segments, called vertebrae, that connect to one another through soft tissues, like ligaments. In between your spinal segments are your discs, which are soft tissues that help absorb the forces from daily life.  Proper functioning of the neck and spine are important to the overall function of your body and its ability to bend, twist, lift and move.

 

Musculoskeletal Sources of Neck or Back Pain

When the neck or back area starts to be painful or is injured, there can be many different causes.

Outside and around the joint area, overuse or repetitive use injuries can lead to pain, which can be the case for those with occupations that involve prolonged desk work or frequent lifting and carrying.

Other conditions, like arthritis, can impact the inside of the joint, which can lead to stiffness, pain, or limitations in range of motion. Spinal stenosis also affects the inside of the spine – it refers to a narrowing of the spinal canal, which can lead to pain or other symptoms.

Ligaments or muscles around the spine can become injured or stressed, which can lead to sprains (ligaments) or strains (muscles). Another cause of neck or back pain can be the result of a herniated disc.

In some cases, changes in sensation or motor control can signal other, non-musculoskeletal causes of neck or back pain, which can require medical intervention, such as cancer or infection. Fractures of the vertebrae may require immediate intervention or surgery to repair. Fractures can occur due to collisions, falls, or repeated stresses over time.

It can be difficult to determine the source of your pain alone, which is why it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional about your pain and/or other symptoms.

For many of the conditions common in the neck or back, there are several treatment options available.

Common Neck & Spine Conditions

  • Strains and Sprains
  • Kyphosis (Roundback)
  • Spinal Osteoarthritis, Spondylosis
  • Herniated Disc
  • Sciatica
  • Degenerative Disc Disease of the Spine

Common Treatments for Neck or Back Pain

When you’re in pain, it’s important to seek help from a healthcare professional, like your primary care physician or a physical therapist, who can help to identify the cause and work with you to explore the right treatment options.

Physical therapy is a common treatment for those dealing with neck or back pain. A physical therapist will evaluate your pain and collaborate with you to put together a plan of action.

These plans may include exercises or manual treatments, like soft tissue mobilization or the use of heat or ice, to provide pain relief. Exercises that focus on improving strength, postural control, or abdominal control may also be included. A treatment plan can include lifestyle or home modifications, as well as education about the body and your condition.

A physician may prescribe medications or injections, as well. These medications are often meant to reduce pain or inflammation, and they may be used in addition to other treatments, like physical therapy. In some cases, surgery may be discussed or recommended as a treatment option.

Common Neck & Spine Treatments

  • Physical Therapy
  • Spinal Fusion (Lumbar)
  • Kyphosis Treatment
  • Epidural Steroid Injection
  • Laminectomy
  • Spinal Decompression Surgery

Our Neck & Spine Specialists

The neck and spine surgeons of Orthopedic ONE perform thousands of neck and spine procedures each year. With advanced fellowship training in spine surgery, our experts are on the leading edge of advancements in both conservative and surgical intervention of spine disorders. If you are experiencing spine pain, numbness or weakness, call Orthopedic ONE today for a thorough evaluation with our qualified team of spine experts and let us help you get back to enjoying life.

These lists are not inclusive of all conditions and procedures. In order to obtain a complete and accurate diagnosis, a physician should assess your individual situation. Following diagnosis, your physician will discuss appropriate treatment options with you – both surgical and non-surgical. Schedule an appointment with an Orthopedic ONE physician.

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