St. Mary’s is the first hospital in the Athens area to earn The Joint Commission Gold Seal of Approval for Spine Surgery.
Back pain is a serious problem, affecting 8 out of 10 Americans at some point in their lives. It can range from an annoying condition that keeps you from doing some of the activities you enjoy to a serious condition that results in chronic pain and disability.
Most back and neck pain will get better with rest, over-the-counter medicines and appropriate exercise. See a doctor if your pain is severe, if it lasts more than a couple of weeks, if you have trouble urinating, or if you have weakness, pain or numbness in your legs or arms. If you experience paralysis, call 911 immediately.
The most common cause of back pain is poor lifting technique. Other major causes are automobile accidents, sports injuries and diving accidents. Aging often causes pain as the bones, disks and ligaments that form the spine weaken. Here are some tips to help you prevent back and neck pain:
When one of the cushioning disks in the spine bulges or ruptures, it can cause severe pain in the back and/or legs.
Usually associated with aging, disk degeneration can pinch the spinal cord and nerve roots.
Narrowing of the canal that protects the spinal cord and nerve roots may cause numbness and weakness.
A vertebra that slips out of alignment may squeeze the spinal cord and/or nerve roots.
Treatment options include medicines to relieve pain and inflammation, physical and occupational therapy, and surgery. New developments in back and neck surgery, like St. Mary’s O-arm Multidimensional Imaging System, make this option more effective than ever before. Your doctor will work with you to create the treatment plan that is best for you.
If you are looking for a physician for testing or treatments of any of the above conditions, and are not experiencing an emergency, you can find a local physician by using the find-a-doc feature. Please be aware that both neurological surgeons and orthopedic surgeons provide neck, back and spine care.