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Herniated Disk

The rubbery cushions between the individual bones (vertebrae) that make up your spine are known as disks. A herniated disk occurs when some of the softer part of the disk pushes out of a tear in the tougher exterior. Most herniated disks are known as herniated lumbar disks because the problem occurs in your lower back (lumbar spine). They can also occur in your neck (cervical spine). This is known as a herniated cervical disk.

The first treatment for a herniated disk is a short period of rest and taking medicines for the pain. This is followed by physical therapy. Most people who follow these treatments recover and return to normal activities. If further treatment is needed, your MMG Neurologist may recommend steroid injections or surgery.

Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis is narrowing of the spinal column that causes pressure on the spinal cord, or narrowing of the openings (called neural foramina) where spinal nerves leave the spinal column.Your MMG provider may refer you for physical therapy. Medication may help as well as epidural spinal injection (ESI), which involves injecting medicine directly into the space around your spinal nerves or spinal cord.

Spondylolisthesis

Spondylolisthesis is a condition in which a bone (vertebra) in the spine moves forward out of the proper position onto the bone below it. Treatment depends on how severely the vertebra has shifted out of place. Most people get better with exercises that stretch and strengthen lower back muscles. Your provider may also recommend:

  • A back brace to limit spine movement
  • Pain medicine (taken by mouth or injected into the back)
  • Physical therapy
  • Surgery to fuse the shifted vertebrae in severe cases

Radiculopathy

Your spine consists of many bones called vertebrae. Your spinal cord is inside a canal in the center of these bones. Nerve roots split from the cord and travel between the vertebrae. When the nerve roots are pinched or damaged, this results in radiculopathy. Nonsurgical treatment is often recommended first. Surgery sometimes reduces the pressure on the nerve root by widening the space where the nerve roots exit the spine.

Neck Pain

Neck pain can result for many reasons such as

  • Herniated cervical disc
  • Cervical disc degeneration
  • Injury
  • Arthritis
  • Congenital abnormalities of the vertebrae and bones
  • Tumors

After determining the reason for neck pain, treatment may include

  • Exercise
  • Rest
  • Medication
  • Neck brace or immobilization
  • Physical therapy
  • Surgery

Spinal Tumors

A spinal tumor is a growth of cells (mass) in or surrounding the spinal cord.

Any type of tumor may occur in the spine, including:

  • Leukemia
  • Lymphoma
  • Myeloma

Treatments include:

  • Corticosteroids
  • Emergency surgery
  • Radiation therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Physical therapy