Although spine surgery can be the best way to address some types of back pain, it isn’t the solution for every patient. Non-operative options may provide better results than spine surgery for some patients. Your spine surgeon serving Los Angeles can help you decide what treatment approach is best for you.
Two common types of non-surgical treatments for back pain are physical therapy and spinal injections. Physical therapy focuses on building the muscles that support the spine and helping patients find comfortable positions that ease spine pain caused by conditions like herniated discs and pinched nerves. Spinal injections involve the use of anti-inflammatory steroids and numbing medications to ease back pain. These medications can be injected directly into the site of the pain so that symptoms are eased while the body heals itself. If these non-invasive back pain treatments are successful, spine surgery is generally not necessary.
The cervical spine is the portion of the spine that runs through the neck. Pain in this region affects at least two thirds of people at some point in their lives. In some cases, spine surgery is necessary to relieve the pain, while other cases may respond to non-surgical treatment like spinal injections and physical therapy. There are a number of different things that can cause cervical spine pain, and knowing the root of your problem will help your spine surgeon devise a treatment plan. Here’s a look at some of the conditions that prompt people to consider undergoing cervical spine surgery in Los Angeles.
Degenerative Disc Disease
Between the vertebrae in your spine are discs that cushion the bones and prevent them from bumping into each other. Many cases of cervical pain can be traced back to a problem with one or more of these discs. Over time, these discs can become worn by movement and stop providing an adequate amount of cushion. As a result, the vertebrae can rub against each other and nerves can become pinched. When this occurs, you’re likely to feel pain and stiffness in your neck that gets worse over the course of the day. This condition is known as degenerative disc disease.
In some cases, a disc in the cervical spine may bulge outside of its usual location. This is called a herniated disc . When this occurs, the disc can press against nerves in the spinal column, triggering pain. The pain from a herniated disc may be located in the neck, but it may also spread through the shoulders and down the arms.
Sometimes, problems in the cervical spine are the result of an acute injury. A fall, a car accident, or another incident could damage some portion of the spine in that region. Acute injuries can sometimes cause chronic pain that needs to be addressed with spinal injections or spine surgery.
Dr. Watkins IV discusses womenâs back pain and how tough and resilient women are. When it comes to back pain and pain in general, women tend to deal with the pain alone and suffer in silence. Dr. Watkins IV says women avoid expressing their pain in order to not become a burden to their families. The patients Dr. Watkins IV sees on a regular basis are 50/50, men and women. He mentions that it is better for moms and women in general to express their pain in order to get treatment. Through physical therapy and rehab, women can get back to their normal lives.
Oftentimes, herniated discs are the problem that prompts the need for cervical spine surgery or lumbar spine surgery. Your spine surgeon serving Los Angeles may have told you that you need surgery because of a herniated disc, but what does that mean? This video explains more.
Your vertebrae are separated by spongy discs that act as shock absorbers. Disc herniation occurs when the outer layer of a disc is torn and the inside of the disc pushes outwards. The herniated disc may put pressure on a nerve, causing pain. The location of the pain depends on where along the spine the herniation has occurred. In some patients, non-surgical treatments, like spinal injections, can ease the pain, while others need spine surgery to get relief.
In a recent article featured in USA TODAY, NFL running back Ahmad Bradshaw discusses the spinal surgery he underwent in 2013 to fuse two vertebrae in his neck â performed by Marina Spine Center’s own Dr. Robert Watkins – and his return to the field.
“It was a blessing,” Bradshaw said. “After about a month, I started getting my strength and motion back. Dr. Watkins told me it was much stronger than before.”
Read the full article on the USA TODAY sports page.
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Dr. David Chang talks about the future of spine surgery in the next 5 to 10 years. People used to worry about scarring and the success rate of laminectomy, laminoplasty, discectomy and other spine procedures. The technological advancements of today allow a much quicker and minimally invasive procedure to be completed. Dr. Chang also talks about the future of biologics and their advantages, such as the possibility of regeneration of cartilages with stem cells.
- Lumbar Spine Surgery
- Spine Surgery
- Marina Spine Center
- Degenerative Disc Disease
- Back Pain
- Herniated Discs
- Non-Operative Options
- Lower Back Pain
- Cervical Spine Surgery
- Thoracic Back Pain
- Spinal Stenosis
- Minimally Invasive Surgery
- Epidural Injection
- Sports Injuries
- Stress Fractures
- Pinched Nerve
- Spine Fusion
- Microscopic Foraminotomy
- Neck Pain
- Back Injuries
- Spinal Injuries
- Spinal Injections
- Athletic Spinal Injuries
- Conservative Care
- Torn Ligaments