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Michigan Sports and Spine

Degenerative Disc Disease

Overview
Degenerative disc disease refers to a condition in which pain is caused from a damaged disc.  Spinal discs are like shock absorbers between the bones of the spine.  Degenerative disc disease occurs when these discs wear down.  This happens to nearly everyone due to aging, but only some people experience severe symptoms.

Symptoms
Pain that is worse when sitting
Pain that is worse when bending, lifting, or twisting
Lessening of pain when walking, running, changing positions often, or lying down
Pain that comes and goes and ranges in severity from day to day
Pain in the low back, buttocks and thighs or the neck, radiating to the arms and hands
Numbness and tingling in the extremities
Weakness in the leg muscles or foot drop

Causes
Aging
Daily activities and sports
Injury or trauma

Diagnosis
Physical examination
MRI or CT scan

Treatment
Physical therapy
Drug therapies
Electrotherapy
Back braces
Activity modification
Surgery

Source: http://www.cedars-sinai.edu/Patients/Health-Conditions/Degenerative-Disc-Disease.aspx

 

Facet Arthrosis

Overview
Facet arthrosis is the wear and tear or degeneration of the facet joints in the back part of the spine.  The joints normally have a smooth cartilage surface which can wear out.

Causes
Injury
Osteoarthritis
Excessive or prolonged stress on the spine

Symptoms
Headache
Neck pain
Reduced range of spinal movement

Diagnosis
MRI or CT scans

Treatment
Physical therapy
Movement and lifestyle adjustments
Anti-inflammatory drugs
Injections

 

Facet Joint Syndrome

Overview
Facet joint syndrome is the swelling and inflammation of the tissue between the joints of the spine.

Symptoms
Pain and stiffness when turning from left to right
Headaches
Pain in the lower back, buttocks or thighs

Causes
Injury
Arthritis

Diagnosis
Injection of an anti-inflammatory and anesthetic.  Immediate relief confirms facet joint syndrome.

Treatment
Steroid injections
Anti-inflammatory drugs
Physical therapy
Use of braces
Surgery

Source: http://www.cedars-sinai.edu/Patients/Health-Conditions/Facet-Joint-Syndrome.aspx

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Herniated Disc

Overview
Your backbone, or spine, is made up of 26 bones called vertebrae. In between them are soft disks filled with a jelly-like substance. These disks cushion the vertebrae and keep them in place. A herniated disk is a disk that slips out of place or ruptures. If it presses on a nerve, it can cause back pain or sciatica.

Symptoms
Back pain that spreads to the buttocks and legs (if herniated disc is in the lower back)
Neck pain that spreads to the shoulders and upper arms (if the herniated disc is in the upper back)
Tingling or numbness
Muscle spasms or weakness

Causes
Aging
Trauma
Genetic predisposition

Diagnosis
X-ray
MRI or CT scan
EMG

Treatment
Activity modification
Anti-inflammatory drugs
Injections
Physical therapy
Surgery

Source: http://www.aans.org/Patient%20Information/Conditions%20and%20Treatments/Herniated%20Disc.aspx

 

Lumbago

Overview
Lumbago is the term used to describe general lower back pain. The exact cause of the lumbago/back pain is often unknown. The back pain can come on suddenly after lifting things, or gradually through overuse (see weak back) such as repetitive movements when decorating, gardening etc, or even for no obvious reason.

Causes
Lumbar disc herniation
Muscle strains
Facet joint pain
Spondylolysis
Postural problems such as lordosis and scoliosis
Ankylosing spondylitis
Sarcoiliac joint pain
Muscular trigger oints or myofascial pain in the buttocks or the paravertebral muscles
A general weakness in the back and core muscles
Muscle imbalances
Spinal canal stenosis
Poor workstation set-up or poor driving position

Diagnosis
Physical examination and medical history consultation
X-rays
MRI
CT scan

Treatment
Rest
Application of heat/ice
Ultrasound, TENS, or interferential treatment
Sports massage
Physical therapy
Anti-inflammatory/pain relieving/muscle relaxing medication

Source: http://www.sportsinjuryclinic.net/sport-injuries/low-back-pain/lumbago

 

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