Spine conditions involve the bones (vertebrae) and spongy discs between the vertebrae, joints, muscles, and ligaments. Pain from spine conditions can be acute (sudden, intense pain that lasts a few days or weeks) or chronic (lasts more than a few months).
Symptoms of a spine condition may include numbness, tingling, and pain in the neck, low back, arms, and legs. With complex spine disorders, you may also have problems with walking, breathing, bowel and bladder control, and sexual function.
Spine conditions can affect the lumbar (low back), thoracic (upper back), or cervical (neck) spine and include:
- Curvature deformities: such as scoliosis (abnormal curve to the side), lordosis (excessive inward curve), or kyphosis (forward rounding of the back)
- Degenerative disc disease: discs between the vertebrae break down due to stress, aging, or normal wear and tear
- Fractures: vertebrae compression fractures or joint dislocation
- Herniated disc: discs between the vertebrae rupture, protrude, or bulge out
- Infections: occur in the spine or fluid surrounding the spinal cord
- Myelopathy: spinal cord damage caused by stenosis (narrowing) or degeneration (breakdown)
- Radiculopathy: pinched or compressed nerve
- Spinal cord injuries: damage to the spinal cord or nerves
- Spinal stenosis: narrowing of the spinal canal
- Spondylosis: breakdown of cartilage and vertebrae, as in osteoarthritis
- Tumors: cancerous or non-cancerous growths
If you have pain and symptoms of a spine condition, make an appointment with an orthopaedic doctor at University of Miami Health System. We offer appointments as soon as possible — often the same day or within 24 hours.
Most mild spine pain and injuries resolve with home treatments, including rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE method).
Your doctor may prescribe an anti-inflammatory medication — or recommend an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen — to reduce swelling and pain.
Your doctor may recommend you undergo electrical stimulation therapy to help get relief from your injury.
You may need to work with a physical therapist to regain strength and use following an injury.
If your spine condition has not been responsive to other treatment options, you may need surgery.
Your doctor will conduct a thorough exam and review your health history to diagnose this condition.
Your doctor may order an imaging test such as an X-ray, a computerized tomography (CT) scan, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to confirm a diagnosis.
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