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SPINE CONDITIONS
NORMAL DISC

The spine is comprised of 33 bones, called vertebrae, that stack on top of each other,extending from the base of the scull to the tailbone. Verterbrae are separated by discs that act as shock absorbers for the spine. Normal discs are well-hydrated, intact, and properly aligned between the vertebrae.

DEGENERATIVE DISC

Also known as degenerative disc disease, most often occurs in the discs of the lower back (lumbar region) and the neck (cervical region). As we age, our spinal discs break down, or degenerate. These age-related changes in clude: The loss of fluid in your discs. This reduces the ability of thediscs to act as shock absorbers and makes them less flexible. Loss of fluid also makes the disc thinner and narrows the distance between the vertebrae.Tiny tears or cracks in the outer layer (annulus or capsule) of the disc. The jellylike material inside the disc (nucleus) may be forced out through the tears or cracks in the capsule, which causes the disc to bulge, break open (rupture), or break into fragments.

Symptoms:
As the space between the vertebrae gets smaller, there is less padding between them, and the spine becomes less stable. The body reacts to this by constructing bony growths called bone spurs (osteophytes). Bone spurs can put pressure on the spinal nerve roots or spinal cord, resulting in pain and affecting nerve function.

BULGING DISC

A bulging spinal disc occurs when the disc's soft, jelly-like center (nucleus) is squeezed into cracks in the disc's outer covering, weakening and stretching that covering. As a disc bulges out from between the neighboring bones (vertebrae), it can press on nerves that travel to the legs or arms and can cause numbness, weakness, or pain.


Normally, spinal discs absorb shock and provide flexibility within the spine. With age, spinal discs break down, becoming drier, less flexible, and more easily damaged. Injury and prolonged overuse or misuse can speed the formation of tiny tears in a disc's capsule.

SCIATICA

Sciatica is pain, tingling, or numbness produced by an irritation of the nerve roots that lead to the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is formed by the nerve roots coming out of the spinal cord into the lower back. It goes down through the buttock, then its branches extend down the back of the leg to the ankle and foot.


The most common cause of sciatica is a bulging or ruptured disc (herniated disc) in the spine pressing against the nerve roots that lead to the sciatic nerve. But sciatica also can be a symptom of other conditions that affect the spine, such as narrowing of the spinal canal (spinal stenosis), bone spurs (small, bony growths that form along joints) caused by arthritis, or nerve root compression (pinched nerve) caused by injury.

HERNIATED DISC / IVDP

Also Ruptured Disc, the bones (vertebrae that form the spine in your back are cushioned by small, spongy discs. When these discs are healthy, they act as shock absorbers for the spine and keep the spine flexible. But when a disc is damaged, it may bulge or break open.


Symptoms:
When a herniated disc pressess on nerve roots., it can cause pain, numbness, and weakness in the area of the body where the nerve travels. A herniated disc in the lower back can cause pain and numbness, specifically, down the leg. This is called sciatica. Sciatica is the most common symptom of a herniated disc in the lower back.

COMPRESSED DISC

A compressed disc is a condition in which the integrity of one or more discs have deteriorated to the point that the nerves exiting from the vertebrae are placed under a great deal of pressure. Depending on the severity of the situation, the condition can lead to recurring back pain or cause permanent injury to other parts of the back and spine. Compressed discs are also known as prolapsed, ruptured or slipped discs.


One of the first symptoms that indicate the presence of a compressed disc is a sense of numbness or tingling in the back and legs. In situations where the damaged disc is located in the lower portion of the back, recurring back pain originating in that region is quickly followed by recurrent pain in the buttocks and even into the thighs and legs. A compressed disc in the upper area of the back often causes numbness or pain in the neck, shoulders, and upper arms

DEGENERATIVE DISC WITH OSTEOPHYTE FORMATION

An osteophyte, or bone spur, is a bony growth formed on normal bone--in this case, the discs of the spine. It’s usually smooth, but it can cause wear and tear or pain if it presses or rubs on other bones or soft tissues such as ligaments, tendons, or nerves in the body.


A bone spur forms as the body tries to repair itself by building extra bone. It typically forms in response to pressure, rubbing, or stress that continues over a long period of time.


Some bone spurs form as part of the aging process. As we age, the slippery tissue called cartilage that covers the ends of the bones within joints breaks down and eventually wears away (osteoarthritis). In this case,, the discs that provide cushioning between the bones of the spine break down with age.


Symptoms:
Many people have bone spurs without ever knowing it, because most bone spurs cause no symptoms. But if the bone spurs are pressing on other bones or tissues or are causing a muscle or tendon to rub, they can break that tissue down over time, causing swelling, tearing, and pain.

CERVICAL CONDITIONS

The spine is comprised of 33 bones, called vertebrae, that stack on top of each other,extending from the base of the scull to the tailbone. Verterbrae are separated by discs that act as shock absorbers for the spine. Normal discs are well-hydrated, intact, and properly aligned between the vertebrae.