Ankylosing Spondylitis belongs to a group of chronic inflammatory
diseases of the spine called Spondylitis. Ankylosing Spondylitis
is a type of arthritis causing inflammation of the spine. It is
most common in teens and young adults although it can also affect
children and older people. Click
here for more information on Ankylosing Spondylitis.
Herniated Disc (also know as 'Slipped Disc):
A herniated disc is a rupture of the outer casing of the disc.
When a disc is ruptured some of the inner substance may protrude
and touch spinal nerves, causing pain down the leg (sciatica)
as well as back pain. The majority of herniated discs improve
without surgery. Click here for more information on herniated
Osteoarthritis of the Spine:
Osteoarthritis of the Spine is a degenerative disease affecting
the facet joints (spinal joints) and the intervertebral discs. Osteoarthritis
usually doesn't begin until after the age of 45 and is the most
common after the of age 60, but may occur at any age. Click
here for more information on Osteoarthritis of the Spine.
Pain or numbness along the sciatic nerve that radiates from
the lower back to the buttocks and back of the thigh. The pain
may be caused by compression, inflammation, or reflex mechanisms
The most common cause of Sciatica is a herniated disk of the lumbar
region of the spine (lower back). The pain can vary from a dull
ache to a burning sensation. It can be slightly annoying or intensely
painful. It usually occurs on one side only. The pain often comes
on gradually throughout the days and it at its worst at night. The
pain intensifies after prolonged sitting or standing. Most cases
resolve within 6 weeks. Surgery is occasionally required. Click
here for more information on Sciatica.
Abnormal lateral (side-to-side) curvature of the spine with rotation
of the vertebrae within the curve. Adolescent Scoliosis is the most
common form. Scoliosis does not usually cause any pain when it occurs
in children. In growing children, orthopedic braces usually prevent
the curve from getting worse but do not correct the curve that is
already present; therefore, it is important catch scoliosis early.
Surgery can be performed if the curve is severe. Several advances
have been made in surgery and recuperation is much faster and easier
than it was in the past.
here for more information on Scoliosis.
Compression of the spinal cord or spinal nerve roots. This compression
may be caused by a bone spur or bulging disc and is related to degeneration
of the spine. Spinal stenosis is more common in the elderly. Symptoms
are pain, tingling, numbness. Most cases occur in the lower back
- the sciatic nerve is compressed which causes pain to radiate down
the buttocks and leg. The pain is usually relieved by sitting, and
made worse with activity. Click
here for more information on Spinal Stenosis.
One vertebrae slips over the vertebrae below it. Most
commonly affects vertebrae in the lower back. The degree of
the slippage varies. There may be no symptoms at all or there
may be back pain, sometimes accompanied by pain radiating down
the buttocks and leg. Surgery is rarely needed.
Isthmic Spondylolisthesis starts
with a crack in a vertebra, usually the lowest lumbar vertebra,
causing it to disconnect from the facet joints. This results
in the vertebra slipping forward over the vertebra below it -
resulting in misalignment and narrowing in the spinal canal.
The fracture most often occurs in early childhood but the slippage
often occurs later. Sometimes the slippage occurs in childhood,
is present for years without symptoms, but often accelerates
disc degeneration later in life.
starts with degeneration of the disks that results in
a vertebra slipping over the vertebra below.
Whiplash is usually the result of a car accident, but can also
occur in a fall. It is an injury to the neck caused by sudden backward
and forward movements of the neck in which the muscles don’t
have time to react to keep the neck within a safe range of motion.
(Or the force may too great for the muscles to hold the spine within
a safe range of motion). This results in overstretching or tearing
the ligaments and muscles that support the cervical spine and possible
injuries to the discs and facet joints. The main symptoms are neck
pain and stiffness.
You should seek medical treatment in the case of whiplash. In a
case of severe whiplash, you may need near total rest for a week
or more, as your physician advises you. Even with severe whiplash,
some movement is needed to prevent more stiffness and weakening
of unused muscles. Maintaining proper posture is vital to prevent
straining injured muscles and ligaments and flaring up pain. Your
doctor may send you to a physical therapist.
Fibromyalgia is a mysterious condition that causes widespread pain
and fatigue. Although any area of the body may be affected, the
lower back, neck, shoulders, are common problem areas. Click
here for more information on fibromyalgia.
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