When You Suffer From Neck and Back Pain
At one time or another, most of us will experience neck or back pain. But when it becomes persistent enough to significantly limit your movement – keeping you from working or participating in activities you enjoy – it’s time to see one of our neck and back specialists.
Neck and Spine Anatomy
Your spine consists of 33 stacked vertebrae that provide the center support for your body so that you can stand, bend, and twist. Together with muscles, tendons, and ligaments, they protect your spinal cord from injury and damage.
Your vertebrae are divided among the cervical spine (neck), the thoracic spine (upper back), the lumbar spine (lower back), and the sacral region (bottom of the spine). Beneath the spine, your coccyx (tailbone) is a triangular arrangement of four small bones.
The discs between your vertebrae act as shock absorbers, cushioning the vertebrae and preventing them from rubbing together. The nucleus of each disc contains a gel-like substance that provides lubrication to keep your back movements smooth. As you age, your discs reabsorb fluid less efficiently – and as a result, you might encounter osteoarthritis and bone spurs, which can cause discs to herniate or bulge. We treat these conditions, along with osteoporosis and diseases affecting the curvature of the spine.
Our spines curve naturally, but certain conditions, extra weight, and weak muscles can disrupt your spine alignment. Treatments for spine alignment issues range from rehabilitation to orthotics (bracing) to surgery.