Common Spine Disorders

For people under 45 years of age, back pain is the most common cause of activity limitation. It is also the third-highest reason for a surgical procedure, and the second most common reason that patients visit a physician. It is important to understand common spinal disorders, symptoms, and recommended treatments. Read more about common spinal disorders below, and consider visiting a top Los Angeles spine surgeon.

For diagnosis, it is highly recommended that you visit a Los Angeles spine doctor for an MRI scan, CT scan, EMG, or blood test. Self-diagnosis is not recommended.

Degenerative Disc Disease

The gradual deterioration of the disc between the vertebrae is the cause of degenerative disc disease. This spinal disorder is usually due to aging. With the natural aging of the body, the bones and spine begin to deteriorate. They are less capable of absorbing shock, and have reduced flexibility and elasticity. It can cause back pain, neck pain, and radiating pain down the arms and legs.

Lumbar stenosis

Is the narrowing of the lower part of the spine. It can be caused by a bulging disc and/or thickened ligaments. It can cause pain in the legs, feet, hips, or back. It can be due to a reaction of the spine due to degenerating discs not keeping the spine stable. Stenosis does not always cause symptoms, but when it does, it may need to be treated by physical therapy, epidural shots, or surgical decompression.

Cervical Stenosis

The body’s spinal canal protects the spinal cord and all of the spinal nerves. Cervical stenosis involves the narrowing on the spinal canal, which can send radiating pain and numbness into the arms and legs. This condition can further lead to cervical myelopathy, which is abnormal pressure placed on the spinal cord, or spinal radiculopathy, wherein the nerve roots from the spinal cord are pinched or damaged.

Compression of the Spinal Cord

As a result of degenerative disk disease, the spaces between the vertebral bodies may narrow. This causes mobility difficulties, pain, weakness, lack of bladder control, and fatigue.

Cervical Disc Herniation

This condition occurs in the neck area, wherein the outer fibers of the disc cause tears or cracks, which can lead to unnatural bulging. Common side effects include painful burning or numbing in arms and hands, neck, shoulders, or back.

Spondylolisthesis

Is the slippage of on vertebrae over another in any part of the spine. It is usually due to a degeneration of the joints of the back, known as facet joints. This can put the area of the spine at risk for developing stenosis, or narrowing, of the spinal canal or nerve tubes (called foramina). Sometimes, surgery is done to help relieve the narrowing and stabilize or reverse this slippage.