Trained at some of the top teaching hospitals in the county, our Pain Management Team utilizes a comprehensive approach to diagnosing and treating the cause of your pain by tailoring an individual plan made specifically for you. We incorporate all aspects of your medical background and history with the latest in diagnostic testing to determine what the primary and possible secondary causes of your pain may be. Throughout the diagnosis, treatment, and recovery, our goal is getting you back to what you love with the belief that our therapies are being done with you, not to you.
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“Degenerative disc disease” is a misnomer as a degenerated spinal disc is not a disease, but rather part of the normal aging process of the spine. When a disc degenerates, it loses the ability to function efficiently as a part of the spinal joint. This, in turn, may lead to pain in the neck or back, sometimes with radiating pain and weakness in the extremities.
DDD is the most common cause of Lower back pain and neck pain from ages 10 -50. DDD is a primarily genetic condition caused by defective collagen cross linking which results in faster wear and tear on the spinal discs. The discs act like shock absorbers to support the spine yet allow motion. Many patients with DDD have a close relative(s) with the condition. The other 30 % of DDD is felt to be due to environmental factors such as normal aging, injuries, poor body mechanics such as improper bending and twisting, obesity ( only a minor risk factor ) and nicotine use /smoking. Nicotine and smoking are the number one reversible cause of DDD progression. Nicotine and cigarettes damage the capillary blood vessels which supply the vertebral endplates.
The Discs in the spine get their nutrition and oxygen from diffusion through the endplates because the discs do not have their own direct blood supply. Over time, if the blood supply to the vertebral endplates is damaged, then the discs are starved of oxygen and nutrients and cannot repair and maintain the strength of the disc. Stopping smoking and nicotine use is the best way to protect the healing power of the discs and slow progression of DDD.
As a disc degenerates, the soft inner gel of the disc can leak back into the spinal canal. This is known as a disc herniation. Once inside the spinal canal, the herniated disc material puts pressure on the nerve, causing pain to radiate down the nerve. This may lead to sciatica or leg pain the case of a herniated lumbar disc, or arm pain in the case of a herniated cervical disc.
Varicose veins are enlarged, swollen, and twisting veins, often appearing blue or dark purple. They happen when faulty valves in the veins allow blood to flow in the wrong direction or to pool. Symptoms can include aching legs, swollen ankles, and spider veins.
If you have varicose veins or experience leg pain and fatigue you may have venous reflux disease. Venous reflux disease develops when the vein valves that keep blood flowing from your legs to your heart become damaged or diseased. This can cause blood to pool in your legs and result in dilated or varicose veins.
Venous reflux disease is a progressive medical condition and if left untreated, may worsen over time and
develop into a more serious form of venous disease called chronic venous insufficiency.
Osteoporosis is a condition which causes thinning of the bones. This may result in vertebral compression fractures, deformity (kyphosis), or even death. Osteoporosis and related spinal fractures are largely preventable or treatable with medications, calcium intake, and kyphoplasty or vertebroplasty surgery.