Often, back pain may be difficult to pinpoint and requires a professional diagnosis to target its source. Injury or degeneration of the shock-absorbing discs in the spine is a common cause of nerve and spinal pain. Understanding the cause of your back pain is the first step in developing an effective treatment plan to eliminate it.
Trauma to the spine can injure the discs situated between adjacent vertebrae. A bulging or herniated disc occurs when the tough outer layer of a spinal disc, called the annulus fibrosus, is weakened or torn. When the fibers of the annulus fibrosus are damaged, the inner portion of the spinal disc, the nucleus pulposus, bulges outward. If the annulus fibrosus is torn completely, the nucleus pulposus may spill out into the spinal column. In both of these cases, the spinal disc is likely to cause swelling and irritation of nerves in the spinal canal. This results in pain and other symptoms, including numbness, tingling, and muscle weakness in the arms or legs.
Degenerative Disc Disease
Another common cause of back pain is degenerative disc disease. Over time, the spinal discs begin to weaken and dry out as a result of the aging process. As their size diminishes, the discs lose much of their cushioning ability. This often causes back pain and difficulty moving. Often, the condition is exacerbated by the growth of bony spurs along the edges of the vertebrae, which may press upon nerves and cause irritation and pain. Pain associated with degenerative disc disease tends to worsen with movement, particularly twisting, bending, or reaching up. Depending on which area of the spine is affected, pain may also radiate into the arms or legs.
If you are seeking diagnosis and treatment for your back pain, contact the Center for Laser Spine Surgery in Houston at (832) 532-4889. We specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of back pain using minimally invasive laser surgery techniques. You can also learn more about how laser spine surgery can eliminate back pain permanently by clicking through the information on our website.