A herniated disc occurs when the inner core of the disc leaks out and pinches or irritates a nearby nerve. This produces pain called radicular pain, which may radiate to other parts of the body (ex. from the low back down the leg--called sciatica).
In a bulging disc, the inner portion (nucleus) of a spinal disc remains within the outer portion (annulus fibrosus), unlike in a herniated disc where the nucleus leaks out of the disc. This bulge can put pressure on the surrounding nerve roots, which can lead to pain that radiates to other areas of the body.
Facet joints are almost always in motion with the spine and can become degenerated. When facet joints become worn out, the cartilage may become thin or disappear and the joint can have arthritic changes that can cause back pain.
Spondylosis indicates any manner of spinal degeneration. It is more of a descreptive term. Physicians use this term before reaching a confirmed clinical diagnosis for the cause of the pain using use more specific terms.
Pars defects, or spondylolysis, is a condition where there is a defect in the pars interarticularis (a small segment of bone that joins the facet joints in the back of the spine). The pars interarticularis defect can be on only one side or both sides of the spine.
Stenosis is the narrowing of a passage in the body. In lumbar stenosis, the spinal nerves in the lower back are pressed, and this can cause tingling or weakness that radiates from the low back down the legs (sciatica). Cervical spinal stenosis can be more dangerous since it can compress the spinal cord, which can lead to major body weakness or paralysis.
The carpal tunnel is made up of the wrist bones on the bottom and a ligament over the top. The median nerve runs through it along with the flexor tendons to the wrist. Pressure within the tunnel can damage the nerve and lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. The distinctive feature of carpal tunnel syndrome is numbness in the thumb, index and middle finger.
CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME
The rotator cuff contains four muscles that help stabilizethe shoulder. They can become inflamed and produce shoulder pain. Additionally, a patient can develop rotator cuff arthritis, which is a degenerative joint disease that involves cartilage break down and abnormal bony growths (osteophytes) in the joints.
ROTATOR CUFF ARTHRITIS
An arthritic knee has broken down cartilage and abnormal bony growths in the joint. This causes friction between bones and other knee problems. This degenerative process can lead to abnormal joint function, pain, and stiffness.
There can be many different reasons for your pain. The spinal nerves can be compressed, the nerve in the wrist can be under pressure, or the cartilage can be broken down. Read about the different conditions and discover what could be the cause of your pain.
Then find out how you can treat your pain by booking an appointment with us at Mid-Hudson Pain Management and Physical Therapy.