Neck and Back Pain
Changes that take place in the disks of your spine can cause pain. Degenerative disk disease can be a natural occurrence due to aging.
Neck and Back pain are amongst the more common complaints in medicine. As the general population ages, the degenerative process known as degenerative disc disease affects most individuals becoming one of the most common causes of spinal pain. When pain alters activities of daily living, conservative management like medication (anti-inflammatories, analgesics, muscle relaxants) help most symptoms. Long lasting pain may respond to physical therapy as well and other modalities.
When pain is associated to neurological findings such as numbness, tingling and/or weakness in the extremities, further testing is advised. In such cases, X-rays complemented by Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of the affected area, will give an accurate view of the nervous system anatomy (i.e., spinal cord); will evaluate the possibility of neurologic compression (spinal stenosis); and the possibility of instability or deformity of the vertebrae and other spinal anatomy components.
Surgical treatment of the spine is reserved for a smaller percentage of patients with more severe functional compromise, pain and compression of the nerves/spinal cord with associated neurologic deficits when other conservative treatments have failed.
Mauricio A. Valdes MD
Board certified Orthopedic Trauma and Spine Surgeon
AZ surgical Consultants LLC
Phoenix, Arizona. USA