The Connection between Spine Anatomy and Back & Neck Pain
The spine is a very complex structure composed of 33 individual bones that are stacked one on top of the other. This column provides support to the human body and allows movement that is crucial to everyday life, all while protecting the spinal cord from injury. When one or more of the bones and/or supporting spinal components become injured, individuals in the Tyler, Texas area often report back pain or neck pain. The pain doctors at Pain Recovery Center of Tyler specialize in spine anatomy and the many causes of back and neck pain.
An Overview of Spine Anatomy
The spinal column is one of the most important parts of the human body. This structure supports the center of the body (the trunk) and allows movements ranging from standing upright to twisting to bending.
Spine anatomy includes 33 vertebrae (the individual bones), muscles, tendons, ligaments and nerves that protect the spinal cord. The spinal cord is responsible for providing communication to the brain.
The three spinal regions include:
- Cervical spine (neck) that is composed of the top 7 vertebrae
- Thoracic spine (upper back) that is composed of 12 vertebrae
- Lumbar spine (lower back) that is composed of 5 vertebrae
- The sacrum and tailbone are composed of 9 vertebrae that are fused together to form a solid bone unit
The various spinal elements include:
- Vertebrae that support the majority of the weight placed on the spine
- Intervertebral discs that act as shock absorbers between each vertebrae
- Facet joints that connect the bony arches of the vertebral bodies
- Spinal cord and associated nerves that carry electrical signals to the brain
- Spinal muscles that maintain posture and move the trunk and limbs
Any of these structures can be impacted by an acute injury or a chronic health condition, leading to pain, tingling, numbness, weakness and loss of mobility.
Common Causes of Back and Neck Pain
Neck and back pain affects millions of Americans, many in the Greater Tyler, Texas area. Fortunately, many cases of pain heal with time and do not become a chronic health condition. It is estimated approximately 50% of people feel relief within two weeks and approximately 90% of people feel alleviated pain within three months.
Low back pain caused by lumbar spine conditions often include a disc herniation, degenerative disc disease (DDD), isthmic spondylolisthesis, degenerative spondylolisthesis and facet joint osteoarthritis.
Neck pain is not as common as back pain, but there are several prevalent issues that can lead to discomfort, including cervical osteoarthritis, cervical degenerative disc disease, stenosis with myelopathy and foraminal stenosis.
If you live in the Tyler, Texas area and are experiencing back and neck pain associated with abnormal spine anatomy, please contact the pain doctors at Pain Recovery Center of Tyler today for an appointment.