H e a lth c a re
Chronic Neck & Back
Learn about Cullman ’ s newest options for relief
Low back pain and neck pain are among the
most common medical conditions requiring medical care affecting an individual ’ s ability to work and manage the daily activities of life . Annually , 15-20 % of the US population suffers from back or neck pain and 80 % of the US population suffers from at least one severe episode of acute low back pain during their lifetime . Luckily , the majority of these issues will get better within 6 six weeks regardless of treatment . For those that require treatment , there are minimallyinvasive procedures available now that make recovery much easier .
First , let ’ s look at common types of back issues and what they mean :
• Degenerative Disc Disease : Actually not a disease , but is the normal aging process of the disc that occurs in all individuals
• Spinal Stenosis : The narrowing of the spinal canal
• Herniated Disc : When the disc material pushes outside of its normal anatomical boundaries
• Radiculopathy / Sciatica : The symptoms associated with pinching or irritation of a nerve .
• Scoliosis : The abnormal curvature and rotation of the spine in the front to back view
• Spondylolisthesis : The abnormal shifting of a spinal bone
• Compression Fracture : When a spinal bone breaks or compresses together .
Before we get into minimally-invasive procedures , let ’ s learn about common spinal procedures and what they mean :
• Decompressive Procedures ( includes laminectomies or discectomies ): Taking pressure off of nerves by unpinching or creating more space for the nerves in the spinal canal due to spinal stenosis
• Fusion : A long-term stabilization of the spine achieved by growing two or more of the spinal bones together .
• Kyphoplasty : A minimally-invasive way to internally brace and sometimes un-compress a spinal compression fracture using bone cement as an internal brace .
• Minimally Invasive : Using the least traumatic techniques in surgery to achieve the same results that are achieved with traditional techniques .
What are the benefits of Minimally- Invasive Spine Techniques ?
• Less blood loss and less need for transfusions
• Less damage to the tissue : Traditional surgical techniques cause significantly more damage to both the surgical area as well as the surrounding area muscles and ligaments as compared to minimally invasive procedures .
• Shorter hospital stays
• Less pain
• Quicker recovery
14 | SPRING 2021 CULLMAN COUNTY SENIOR MAGAZINE