Back pain is a common condition affecting approximately 80% of the population at some point in their lives. The area usually affected is the lower back (lumbar region) as it bears most of the upper body’s weight. Pain in the lower back may sometimes radiate to the legs.
Spinal decompression is treatment to relieve pressure on one or many “pinched nerves” of the spinal column. It can be achieved either surgically or by non-surgical methods. It is used to treat conditions which cause chronic backache such as herniated disc, disc bulge, sciatica and spinal stenosis.
The lower back or lumbar region is often the site of pain due to its high mobility and weight-bearing. Spongy disks present between the vertebral bones of the spine help cushion the spine during stress and movement. These intervertebral disks in the lumbar region may undergo damage due to stress, causing them to herniate or rupture, and compress adjacent spinal nerves.
The spine is made up of small bony segments called vertebrae. These vertebrae are categorized into cervical or neck vertebrae, thoracic or upper back vertebrae, lumbar or lower back vertebrae and the sacrum within the pelvis. A cylindrical bundle of nerve fibers called the spinal cord passes through the entire vertebral column and branches out to the various parts of our body.
Degeneration of the facet joints and intervertebral disks results in the narrowing of the spinal canal, known as spinal stenosis. In addition, the arthritic facet joints become bulkier and consume the space available for the nerve roots. Besides, bony outgrowths, also known as bone spurs or bone osteophytes can also narrow the spinal canal.
The vertebrae (spinal bones) have openings known as neuroforamen on either side for the passage of spinal nerves. The neuroforamen are surrounded by tiny joints known as facet joints, present in pairs at the back of each vertebra, which connect and stabilize them together.
Spinal fusion is the surgical technique of combining two or more vertebrae. Fusion of the vertebrae involves insertion of secondary bone tissue obtained either through auto graft (tissues from the same patient) or allograft (tissues from another person) to augment the bone healing process.
Disk degeneration reduces the height of the Disk and may cause a Herniated Disk. The vertebrae of the backbone are cushioned by intervertebral Disks that act as shock-absorbers and allow frictionless movement of your back. It is made up of a soft gel-like center called the nucleus pulposus that is surrounded by a tough outer ring of annulus fibrosus.
Osteoporosis is a “silent” disease characterized by weakening of bones, making them more susceptible to fractures (vertebral compression fractures), typically in the hip and spine. Vertebral compression fractures can also occur with a metastatic tumor, multiple myeloma, and vertebral hemangioma.