Degenerative disc disease
Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
Degenerative disc diseaseDegenerative disc disease in the back is a condition that involves weakening of one or more vertebral discs which normally act as a cushion between the vertebrae. This condition can develop as a natural part of the aging process but may also result from an injury to the back. When the disc degenerates the disc begins to lose many of its properties that make it a good shock absorber. For some people these tears can cause considerable pain and spasms.
Disc Herniation A herniated disc in the back may occur when too much force is exerted on an otherwise healthy intervertebral disc. Heavy forces on the back may simply be too much for even a healthy disc to absorb. A disc herniation, by definition, is displacement of disc material beyond the normal confines of the disc space. The terms disc protrusion, disc bulge, disc herniation, ruptured disc, and slipped disc all mean the same thing and imply that disc material has left the normal disc space. Treatment of a herniated disc depends on the severity of symptoms and apparent nerve damage. Most disc herniations improve in six weeks to three months from the initial injury.
Lumbar Spinal StenosisLumbar Spinal Stenosis refers to a narrowing of the spinal canal to a degree where the spinal cord or nerve roots may be compromised. Spinal stenosis may occur throughout the spine but is more common in the low back and in the neck. Symptoms depend on whether narrowing affects the spinal nerve roots, the spinal cord, or both. Spinal stenosis can cause patients to have symptoms in the arms or legs.
Spondylolisthesis means the forward slippage of one lumbar vertebra in relation to the vertebra below. Spondylolisthesis can be caused by several mechanisms. The two main causes are from either a stress fracture in the vertebra or by acquired degenerative changes in the facet joints. This condition is most commonly found in the lumbar spine as these levels bear the most weight.