Common Spinal Conditions and Treatments

May 11, 2010

Here are just a few of the most common conditions and treatments available at the Floyd Memorial Spine Center:
• Degenerative Disc Disease is a normal part of aging that often occurs along with spinal stenosis. Over time, stressors and minor injuries cause the spinal discs to gradually degenerate, shrinking the space between discs and causing instability and nerve compression. Conservative rehabilitation and pain management treatments are typically successful.
• Herniated/Ruptured/Bulging or Slipped Discs can occur as a result of injury or a fall, repetitive motion, or as part of the normal aging process. Rehabilitation and pain management treatment is typically effective, but in severe cases surgical intervention is appropriate.
• Kyphosis is a condition in which the spine is abnormally curved, typically occurring during adolescence or the teen years (postural or Scheuermann’s kyphosis) or during formation in the womb (congenital kyphosis). Postural and Scheuermann’s kyphosis treatments are available at the Center, and typically respond well to physical therapy, anti-inflammatory treatment, and in severe cases, bracing.
• Osteoporosis typically occurs in postmenopausal women and may contribute to painful vertebral fractures. Surgical procedures such as Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty are usually effective treatments. Physical therapy may also be beneficial to strengthen muscles, reduce pain and return the patient to their prior mobility level.
• Sciatica is a painful condition resulting from irritation of the sciatic nerve. The irritation is often caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve resulting from an abnormally tight piriformis muscle in the buttocks, slipped disc, degenerative disc disease, stenosis or a tumor. Treatments include anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy and, in severe or persistent cases, surgical intervention.
• Scoliosis is a sideways curvature of the spine that occurs during growth spurts before puberty or as a result of arthritis, spinal injury or other spinal disorders. Most cases are mild, but severe cases can be disabling, resulting in a need for bracing or surgical intervention where rods, screws, wires and hooks are used to correct the curvature. Physical therapy is also indicated to stretch and strengthen the muscles of the back to reduce the progression of the curve and pain.
• Spinal Stenosis is the narrowing of the spinal canal that often accompanies degenerative disc disease and is typically seen in people over 60. It progresses slowly over time and causes back and leg pain during activity. Conservative treatments are often effective.
• Spondylolisthesis occurs when one vertebra slips forward on the vertebra below it. The severity of the slip determines treatment methods, but in most cases physical therapy can help strengthen the muscles of the back, reducing pain and enabling them to compensate for the slippage. Pain management may also be used short-term to control pain, relieve spasms and decrease inflammation.