CONDITIONS: Low Back Pain

Back pain is the second most common neurological ailment in the United States. Nearly everyone has low back pain at some point in his/her life. Men and women are equally affected, but pain most often occurs between ages 30 and 50, partly due to the aging process but also as a result of being sedentary and not getting enough exercise. As people age, the risk of experiencing low back pain from disc disease or spinal degeneration increases.

The most common symptoms associated with low back injuries:

  • Weakness
  • Numbness and tingling in the leg and foot
  • Shooting pain
  • Limited flexibility or range of motion
  • Spasms
  • Stiffness

CONDITIONS: Neck Pain

If you are suffering from neck pain, you are not alone. Neck pain is a commont complaint with nearly two thirds of the population experiencing it at some point in life. Often neck pain is relatively minor in nature caused by everyday activities resulting in muscle strain or tension. More severe injuries include vertebral fractures, whiplash, blood vessel injury and paralysis.

Most common symptoms of neck injuries and conditions:

  • Aches and pains
  • Pain in the shoulder, arm and hand
  • Numbness and tingling in the arm and hand
  • Arm weakness
  • Limited range of motion
  • Muscle tension and spasm

What conditions are most often associated with low back and neck pain?

Herniated or ruptured disc is an injury in which one or more spinal disks rupture. This often occurs in the low back because it bears most of our weight, but it can also affect the neck. Constant wear and tear can weaken a disk over time. The disk can also be damaged by activity or injury. If its soft center begins to bulge, the disk may press on the spinal cord or nerve root. When this happens, you'll likely feel pain.

 

Spinal Degeneration/Degenerative Disk Disease/Spondylosis are terms used to describe the normal changes in your spine as you age. This chronic wear and tear in the cervical or lumbar spine can lead to compression of nerve roots or a narrowing of the spinal canal.

Spinal Stenosis refers to narrowing of the spinal canal, the open space in the spine that holds the spinal cord. This condition usually occurs when a person ages and the disks become drier and start to bulge.

Spondylolisthesis is a condition in which a bone in the spine slips out of the proper position onto the bone below it. In adults it is most commonly caused by abnormal wear on the cartilage and bones. It can also be caused by a stress fracture as a result of certain activities that place a great deal of stress on the bones in the neck and low back.

Skeletal irregularities include scoliosis, a curving of the spine to the side; kyphosis, in which the normal curve of the upper back is severely rounded; lordosis, an abnormally accentuated arch in the lower back; back extension, a bending backward of the spine; and back flexion, in which the spine bends forward.

Spondylitis refers to chronic back pain and stiffness caused by an inflammation of any of the vertebrae and is usually characterized by stiffness and pain.

Osteoporosis is the most common type of bone disease. It's a condition in which bones become fragile and are more likely to fracture. These compression fractures may cause no symptoms at first but can lead to noticeable pain.