Which Doctor to See for Your Specific Spine Issue
Other common back pain diagnoses include:
Sciatica — Sciatica is pain, numbness, or tingling caused by the irritation of the sciatic nerve in the lower back. Sciatica can be the result of a herniated disk (both the spelling “disk” and “disc” are used, with “disk” being more common in America and “disc” more common in the UK) that is pressed up against a root nerve, arthritis, from an injury, or due to spinal stenosis.
Lumbar disk disease — Caused by degerantation, lumbar disk disease involves the lumbar spine (i.e., lower back) becoming damaged, and causing material to bulge into the spinal canal.
Slipped disk — Your spine has thin layers of cushioning between each vertebra called disks. These cushions act as shock absorbers and prevent the bones along your spine from scraping together and deteriorating. As one ages, disks naturally begin to dry out and become more brittle. Putting too much stress on your back can cause these disks to tear or break, which can cause short term and long term issues. Symptoms of a slipped disk include back and neck pain, pain in legs or arms, and numbness in limbs.
Radiculopathy — This common condition is caused by a compressed nerve in the spine, leading to pain, tingling, numbness or weakness along the course of that nerve. It can occur anywhere in the spine, but is most common in the lower back (lumbar radiculopathy) and the neck (cervical radiculopathy). A more common name for this condition is a “pinched nerve”. One rare type of radiculopathy is thoracic radiculopathy, located in the thoracic (middle) area of the spine. Radiculopathy is typically either cervical or lumbar.
Cervical disk rupture — Cervical disk rupture is a common type of herniated disk where the vertebrates in the upper back and neck have a rupture, causing the gelatinous inner disk material — called the nucleus populous to herniate through the outer cervical disk walls, leading to radiating pain down the arms, numbness and tingling, and weakening arms and hands. It can be caused by excessive stress to the disk, commonly caused by things such as heavy lifting or damaging motions.
Spinal stenosis — Spinal stenosis is where the spaces within your spine narrow and put pressure on the nerves going up and down your spine. It is more common in the upper and lower back than in the mid-back region. It’s possible to have no symptoms whatsoever with spinal stenosis, but it is commonly associated with pain, muscle weakness, numbness, and tingling, and symptoms can become worse over time. The main cause for spinal stenosis is damage related to osteoarthritis. Typically, conservative and regenerative therapies are suitable for treatment, though severe cases may require surgery.
Degenerative disk disease — The disks of your spine work kind of like the shock absorbers of your car. As you age, they often start to show signs of wear and tear, leading to them not working as effectively. If you are experiencing back pain from worn-out spinal disks, this is degenerative disk disease. Common signs include lower back, buttocks, and upper thigh pain; comes and goes throughout the day; and it feels worse when you sit down, bend, or twist.
Arthritis of the spine — Spinal arthritis in the inflammation of facet joints that can be caused by degeneration, an autoimmune issue, infection, and other conditions. The most common type of arthritis that affects the spine is osteoarthritis. Treatment may involve injections, physical therapy, medications, and surgery in severe cases .
Spondylolisthesis — Spondylolisthesis is a spinal disease affecting the lower vertebrae, causing them to slip forward onto the bone directly underneath them. This painful condition can be treated through regenerative and surgical procedures. If you have chronic back pain, whether it’s spondylolisthesis or some other conditions, it’s important that you get it diagnosed by a professional spine doctor such as Dr. John Peloza here at the Center for Spine Care in Dallas. That way, you can get started immediately with treatment.
Scoliosis — Scoliosis is a sideways curvature of the spine that typically occurs during the growth spurt immediately before puberty begins. Roughly 3% of adolescents have scoliosis, and its causes are not entirely known — though adolescents with cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy have been found to be more at risk of developing it.
Compression fracture — A compression fracture of the vertebrae happens when a vertebral body in the spine collapses, which can lead to all sorts of problems, ranging from severe pain, reduced height, and deformity. These are most common in the thoracic spine (mid-section of the spine) and tend to be caused by the traumas of daily activities in patients suffering from osteoporosis (weak, brittle bones).
Myelopathy — Myelopathy is a spinal cord injury that occurs from severe compression resulting from trauma, degenerative disk disease, disk herniation, spinal stenosis, or some other condition. Any time a portion of the spine becomes constricted or compressed, it is called myelopathy. Myelopathy has to do with muscular disorder and should not be confused with myelopathy, which has to do with nerve damage interior to the spinal cord.
Ankylosing spondylitis — Ankylosing spondylitis is an inflammatory disease that can cause some of the vertebrae in your spine to fuse together, potentially resulting in a hunched-forward posture. If ankylosing spondylitis is severe, it can affect your ribs as well and lead to difficulty breathing. While the disease has no cure, there are plenty of treatments that can be implemented to lessen symptoms and slow the progression of the disease. The sooner you get diagnosed, the sooner you can start getting the treatment you need.
Each one of these requires different approaches to treatment. Rely on Dr. Peloza at the Center for Spine Care in Dallas to accurately diagnose and treat your spine conditions, back problems, and back pain. Contact us today to request an appointment.