Back and Pain Specialist

Why Your Spine Needs a Back and Pain Specialist

Any back and pain specialist will tell you there’s a simple reason why back pain is so common. You bear most of your weight through the lumbar spine as your body moves, which connects to your pelvis.

More often than not, this occurs when people lift heavy objects or twist while moving bulky loads. Many young and old adults end up damaging portions of their lumbar spine from repetitive injuries. In fact, having a desk job, stressing out, carrying heavy luggage, smoking, and lacking core body strength are top reasons.

According to orthopedic experts, “Back pain is the second most common complaint adults share with their primary care provider.” Poor sitting can cause repetitive stress injuries to the paraspinal muscles according to New York University’s Langone Health Spine Center. “Once those muscles are injured, they contract, go into spasm, and cause pain.”

Understanding all aspects of back pain takes an education in your spine’s anatomy, types of pain, symptoms, and causes. We’ll take a short dive into the basics of your spinal makeup, as well as some interesting facts and statistics.


Breakdown of Your Spine by a Back and Pain Specialist

Throughout your body, the spinal column supports structures surrounding your nervous system, according to back and pain specialist providers. This column has 33 bones, working together to keep your body upright, allowing you to bend and twist easily. It also transmits nerve signals from your brain to your toes.

Your spinal column is made up of multiple areas, including the cervical spine, diaphragm, shoulders, arms, esophagus, and your chest. The thoracic area, which includes the esophagus, lung, trachea, liver, gallbladder and small intestine, is also part of this equation. Your spine’s lumbar area shouldn’t be ignored, which is attached to your legs and feet. Your sacrum, which encases your bowels and bladder, is included in this last area, as well as sexual organs.

In addition to a spinal column’s 33 vertebrae in children, the sacrum and coccyx are naturally fused at the bottom. By the time individuals reach adulthood, they have 24 of these small bones since your bottom-end fuses during development.

In total, your vertebral column is comprised of five regions: the sacrum, coccyx, lumbar spine, thoracic spine, and cervical spine. A side view of anyone’s vertebral column would reveal a graceful S-shape curve. Vertebrae in the cervical spine gently curve inward, and in the thoracic spine they curve outward. When you reach the lumbar spine, they curve inward again. Altogether, this results in a strong and shock-absorbing spinal column.

Nonetheless, there are times when back pain is so intense, even someone with a strong spine requires non-invasive back surgery. Spinal surgeons can assist you in this situation, examining your exact circumstance and making the right recommendations.


Connectors, Ligaments, Discs, Facet Joints, and Muscles

Any back and pain specialist knows that below your last lumbar vertebrae, the sacrum is composed of triangular-shaped bones. Your sacrum is a backstop that connects the hips to the pelvis. On both sides, sacroiliac joints attach the sacrum to your pelvis.

Three to five small bones naturally come together to form your tailbone as you become an adult. Although your tailbone may seem insignificant, it supports your weight when you sit.

Spinal columns aren’t just bones. Your spine relies on various supporting structures to maintain its shape, support your body’s skeleton, and route nerves accurately. It all starts with intervertebral discs. A disc is composed of fibrous tissue, attached to vertebrae by cartilaginous endplates. Besides acting as shock absorbers, they also act as spacers between bones.

Both left and right vertebrae are equipped with facet joints. These joints stabilize the spine and allow you to bend forward, extend backward, and twist. Connective tissue surrounds each facet joint, producing lubricating fluid just like other joints. Your body’s cartilage covers joint surfaces, making them mobile and easy to move.

Your body’s ligaments support the spinal column, connecting the vertebrae, discs, and facet joints altogether. Ligaments are like tension cords, facilitating your bones, discs, and joints as they move within a limited range of motion.

Besides stabilizing and strengthening your vertebral column, small and large spinal muscles and tendons also support bending, flexing, and twisting.

“The lumbar vertebrae don’t work alone, however,” states an insightful report by Health Central. “Helping them wield this tremendous responsibility for stability and movement is a complex array of muscles, nerves, discs, and ligaments. It’s understandable that with this integral network of moving parts, things can, and do, often go wrong.”


Back and Pain Specialist Doctors Know Your Body

An integral part of your body’s central nervous system is the vertebral column, according to back and pain specialist experts. Combined with the spinal column, your nervous system has the support needed to protect delicate and intricate nerve roots. Believe it or not, your spinal cord is housed in hollow spaces between your vertebrae.

Nerve roots exit your spinal cord through neural foramen in the vertebral column, also called openings. While intervertebral discs are anchored between vertebrae and have spaces, your body is served by peripheral nerves that branch out.

These spaces are like individual exits, with spinal nerves leaving through openings that correspond to each body part they support. Your nerves are responsible for movement and sensation, such as feeling in your fingers.

Last, but not of least importance, there are three layers of membranes covering your spinal cord called meninges. This is where spinal experts apply their specialized diagnostic analysis, knowledge, and treatment. Fluid sits between different areas of the spinal cord in this region. Known as the epidural space, steroid injections and epidural anesthesia are usually carried out here.


Your Body’s Nervous System is the Key to Everything

A back and pain specialist is also an expert in causes and effects on your nervous system. When doctors examine physical and neurological symptoms, they determine if the pain is caused by sciatica or a herniated disc.

Over decades, there have been many innovations in the field of spinal surgery that you’ll learn about when seeking treatment. Many back issues affecting your vertebral column can be treated with outpatient, minimally invasive spinal surgery.

Currently, back pain is a major cause of disability around the globe, with more than 570 million people affected. In the United States, health care spending on low back pain amounted to $134.5 billion between 1996 and 2016. The need for advanced treatment only increases each year.

“The good news is that most episodes of back pain recover,” states a study in Science Daily. “This is the case even if you have already had back pain for a couple of months.”

So, what’s the bad news? Once you’ve had back pain for more than a few months, your chance of recovery is much lower. “This reminds us that although nearly everyone experiences back pain, some people do better than others,” the research states. “But we don’t completely understand why.”

Chronic back pain isn’t a simple problem, but with today’s treatments, you can train your brain and body more effectively. With the right expertise and techniques, your pain’s sensitivity will be reduced while body function and mobility are increased. For many patients, they steadily improve within weeks or days.

Life doesn’t have to be a burden anymore. Give yourself peace of mind by looking into treatment sooner rather than later.


Bergen Pain Management

Through minimally invasive spinal interventions, Bergen Pain Management utilizes the nation’s most trustworthy and qualified back and pain specialist team. Our dedicated neurosurgeons and board-certified orthopedic spine experts are compassionate and caring physicians with excellent bedside manners. We use relevant, cutting-edge technologies and techniques, remaining committed to achieving dramatic improvements in pain without major surgery.

    Leave Your Comment

    Your email address will not be published.*

    Request Appointment Call Now