treatments-for-spine-conditions

Spine Series - Blog 2: Have You Tried These Treatments for Spine Conditions?

Kris E. Radcliff, M.D. January 19th, 2017

Pain relief is the goal. And these top recommended treatments for spine conditions are the answers you need. It's time to get on the road to recovery!

We tend to forget all about the importance of spinal health until we start to experience the pain and immobility that come along with the degeneration or acute injury of the spine. We forget that we rely on this important set of bones, cartilage, muscles, tendons and nerves, to complete essential, everyday functions like standing, walking, bending, lifting, etc.

We demand much from our spines. And generally, the spine delivers. But when injury or arthritis sets in, so does the pain. If you're experiencing that pain, you're probably also looking for effective treatments for spine conditions.

Anatomy 101: All About Your Spine

Before we can talk about treatments for specific conditions, let's review the basics of spine anatomy. The spine is composed of three segments that form a natural curve.

  • At the top of the spine, the cervical region supports the neck and head.

  • The midsection, the thoracic region, is the least mobile and therefore the least injury prone.

  • The bottom of the spine is made up of the lumbar set of vertebrae and the sacrum and coccyx below it. The lower back (lumbar region) is required to bear much of the responsibility for the body's movement.

Together, this complex structure allows us to bend, turn, and stretch. However, in cases of deformity, disease or injury in the spine, those simple movements often become painful or even impossible.

Surgical vs. Nonsurgical Treatment Options

When discussing possible treatments for spine conditions, there are two approaches to consider. Any good spine physician will always recommend exhausting non-operative approaches first. While many surgical procedures for the spine are considered safe and effective, it is always best to avoid surgery if possible.

Once a patient has tried, under the care of their physician, a variety of conservative treatments, such as rest, activity modification, anti-inflammatory medication and even possibly steroid injections, the option for surgery may be discussed. In the case that a patient has attempted these initial approaches and gained little to no relief, a spinal procedure may indeed be the best option to relieve pain and restore mobility

Specific Treatments for Spine Conditions

It's time to get specific. If you've already received a diagnosis for one of the conditions listed below, then this article will help you understand what your options are. If you have yet to be diagnosed, reading the descriptions of the conditions below may help you better understand why you are experiencing pain. Either way, you should find a reputable spine doctor to evaluate you and oversee your treatment plan.

Most spinal conditions are caused by:

  • Wear and tear (osteoarthritis-related conditions)

  • Acute Injury (while bending, twisting, lifting, etc.)

Spinal condition may occur as:

  • Cervical

  • Thoracic

  • Lumbosacral

  • Intervertebral Spinal Conditions

Some Common Treatments for Spine Conditions Include:

  • Spinal Spondylosis: This age-related condition involves degeneration of the discs, which then often produces bone spurs.

    • Treatment: bracing, stretching, exercise, medication, anterior or posterior decompression surgery

  • Herniated Disc: When discs become damaged, they may bulge or rupture. This is called herniation and it can lead to numbness, pain and loss of strength.

    • Treatment: rest, anti-inflammatories, steroid injections, physical therapy, foraminotomy and microdiscectomy surgery, decompression and fusion surgery
  • Whiplash (Neck Sprain): When sudden, forceful forward and backward movement of the neck occurs, damage to the soft tissue can be sustained.

    • Treatment: soft cervical collar, heat therapy, muscle relaxants, analgesics and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories, range of motion exercises

  • Sciatica: This condition involves nerve compression that results in pain, numbness, and tingling in the lower back, buttocks and legs.

    • Treatment: rest, ice, activity modification, adjustment of sleeping conditions

  • Spinal Stenosis: When degeneration due to aging results in the narrowing of the spinal canal, pinching or compression of the spinal cord leads to pain in the back, buttocks, thighs, and legs.

    • Treatment: medication, steroid injection, activity modification, physical therapy, lumbar laminectomy or posterior lumbar decompression and fusion

  • Scoliosis and Spinal Deformities: This is an abnormal curvature of the spine that may be caused by genetics.

    • Treatment: bracing, periodic observation, anterior and posterior scoliosis fusion

In addition to the ones listed above, there are many other possible spinal conditions that may be causing your pain. In order to receive a proper diagnosis and begin a comprehensive treatment regimen to get on the road to recovery, visit us here or contact us at 1-800-321-9999.  We'll get you connected with one of the region's top spine physicians!

During your appointment, be sure to ask about the following special treatments for spine conditions:

  • Minimally Invasive Techniques and Image Guided Technology

  • Comprehensive Treatment of Degenerative Disc Disease

  • Image Guided Technologies in the Management of Spinal Disorders

  • Techniques in Spinal Instrumentation

And in the meantime, check out the following articles with more helpful information for you on all things related to spine conditions, symptoms, treatments and surgeries:

Spine Series - Blog 1: Could I Have a Spine Condition? Here's How You Know...

Common Spine Conditions

How Do I Know if I Have a Spine Condition?

Should I See a Spine Physician?

Spine Series - Blog 2: Have You Tried These Treatments for Spine Conditions?

Nonsurgical Spine Treatment

Best Spine Physician

Spine Series - Blog 3: Answering the Big Question: Do I Need Spinal Surgery?

Spinal Surgery Recovery

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