Lower back pain is one of the leading causes. Herniated or bulging discs can put pressure on the spinal nerves, resulting in nerve pain anywhere along the spinal nerves – down the back, neck, legs, hips, arms, shoulders, pelvic area, feet, etc. – not every present the same the way. At EnovAte SportsMed here in Dallas, Tx, we offer non-surgical spinal decompression to relieve this pressure and alleviate pain caused by compression. Spinal decompression uses mechanical traction to gently stretch the spine; We use the Chattanooga Triton DTS. Manual and mechanical traction has been utilized for years as a safe solution in the treatment of spinal conditions involving nerve root compression, acute muscular spasm and osteoarthritic discogenic pain.
Non-surgical decompression causes a vacuum-like effect, which allows any leaking tissue to return to the spinal disc. This also increases blood circulation in the spine and stimulates the spinal stretch flexors to turn on. This also brings nutrients and oxygen necessary to the area for healing. We try to make surgery to be a last resort when it comes to treating back pain.
· Pain around the low back and/or upper buttocks
· Low back muscle spasms
· Back pain
· Leg and/or foot pain (sciatica)
· Numbness or a tingling sensation in the leg and/or foot
· Weakness in the leg and /or foot
One of the most common causes of low back pain in adolescent athletes results from a stress fracture that usually affects the fifth lumbar vertebra in the lower back and, much less commonly, the fourth lumbar vertebra. Technically, this condition is called spondylolysis when the stress fracture is present without slippage of the vertebrae. If the stress fracture weakens the bone so much that it is unable to maintain its proper position, the vertebra can start to shift out of place and typically slides forward and compresses the nerve and spinal cord. This condition is called spondylolisthesis. If too much slippage occurs, the bones may begin to press on nerves and surgery may be necessary to correct the condition.
The pars interarticularis is a portion of the lumbar spine. It joins together the upper and lower zygapophysial joints of the lumbar vertebra, also called the facet joints. The pars is normal in the vast majority of children. There may be a hereditary aspect to spondylolysis, called congenital anomalies, where an individual may be born with thin vertebral bone and therefore may be vulnerable to this “pars defect” condition. Significant periods of rapid growth, excessive extension motions, and repetitive twisting motions may also encourage slippage.
Common symptoms include:
· Pain that usually spreads across the lower back and may feel like a muscle strain.
· Spasms that stiffen the back and tighten the hamstring muscles.
Note: Spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis can be present without any obvious symptoms.
Degenerative disc disease isn’t really a disease but is rather a term used to describe the process of changes in your spinal discs as you age. The lumbar disc is a unique and well-designed structure that is strong enough to resist terrific forces, yet it is still very mobile, allowing us to flex, bend, and twist.
The disc itself does not have a blood supply, so if it sustains an injury it cannot repair itself the way other tissues in the body can. An otherwise insignificant injury to the disc can start a degenerative cascade whereby the disc wears out. Despite its rather dramatic label, degenerative disc disease (DDD) is fairly common, and it is estimated that at least 30% of people aged 30-50 years old will have some degree of disc space degeneration.
Common symptoms include:
· Pain that is centered on the lower back
· Lower back pain that has lasted more than six weeks
· A sensation which is often described as a painful ache
· Pain that is frequently worse when sitting
At EnovAte Sports Med, we focus on posture and implementing exercises that are geared to help stabilize the spine and promote strength. Contact us today!
Spinal stenosis most often occurs in adults over 60 years old. Your spine is made up of small bones, called vertebrae, which are stacked on top of one another. Spinal stenosis occurs when the space around the spinal cord narrows. This puts pressure on the spinal cord and the spinal nerve roots and may cause pain, numbness, or weakness in the legs. Arthritis is the most common cause of spinal stenosis. In the spine, arthritis can result as the disk degenerates and loses water content. Over time, this bone overgrowth-called spurs-may narrow the space for the nerves to pass through. Another response to arthritis in the lower back is that ligaments around the joints increase in size. This also lessens space for the nerves. Once the space has become small enough to irritate spinal nerves, painful symptoms result.
Common symptoms include:
· Low back pain
· Sciatica symptoms
· Foot drop or leg weakness
· Less pain leaning forward with sitting
Sprains and strains to the thoracic region of the back are very common because the upper back supports such a great amount the body’s entire weight and maintains posture. The upper back muscles are responsible for keeping your body up straight and prevent slouching, from the lower back up to your head. The multitude of small muscles in our back, as well as the ligaments that connect these muscles to our bones, comprise a vast framework that work to support the spine and allow for dynamic movements and flexibility. The small sizes of the muscles in the upper back make them vulnerable to injuries, which is another reason why sprains and strains are such a common occurrence.
The degree of severity of a strain can be classified into one of three groups:
First Degree Muscle Strain: stretched to a minor degree
Second Degree Muscle Strain: partial tear
Third Degree Muscle Strain: an entire muscle is completely torn
· Spasm, swelling, and loss in range of motion
· Mid-back pain that radiates to neck and back
· Difficulty looking over the shoulder with driving
· Pain when taking a deep breath or coughing
The thoracic outlet is the space between your collarbone (clavicle) and your first rib. This narrow passageway is crowded with blood vessels, muscles, and nerves. Spasm and shortening from the pectoralis minor muscle can be a common source for compression to these vascular and nerve structures. At times people are born with an extra set of ribs called cervical ribs which can also compromise this space. Sometimes weak muscles in your chest are unable to hold the collarbone in place, putting pressure on the nerves and blood vessels that lie under it.
Symptoms depend on which nerves or blood vessels are compressed.
· Pressure on brachial plexus nerves with numbness, tingling into hands
· Pressure on the Axillary artery blood vessels can give the feeling like your arm is “asleep”
· Overhead activities worsen both types of compression
· Cold feeling in the hands, lack of circulation
· Your range of motion may be limited