Given the complex nature of figuring out the source of pain, we know that the key is taking the time to listen to you, examine you, and use the latest technology to find the cause for your pain.
Before we talk about the conditions, we need to discuss what tissues and structures are involved in the spine that could be causing the pain in the first place.
The spine is made up of 7 cervical (neck), 12 thoracic (mid-back), and 5 lumbar (low back) vertebrae (bones). In training, the memory aid is “breakfast, lunch and dinner” because most people eat breakfast at 7, lunch at 12 and dinner at 5.
Attached to the bottom of the mobile spine is the sacrum comprised of 5 fused vertebrae, and attached to that is the coccyx, known as the tailbone.
Associated with the bones of the spine are the joints between the levels. These joints have a capsule with joint fluid in the capsule to allow free and easy movement of the joints.
Connecting the bones to each other are many small, medium, and large ligaments.
Attached to the bones of the spine are muscles that provide an anchor for the arms and legs to move, as well as for the spine to move.
These primary structures are surrounded by blood vessels to supply nutrients to the tissues. Fatty tissues provide insulation and then it is all covered by skin.
In addition, nerves travel out from and return to the spine so that information can be carried to the brain or instructions from the brain to the muscles through the spinal cord.
Any of these structures can become injured or diseased and cause pain or other symptoms like numbness and weakness.