Common Spine Problems 

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Disc Herniation or Herniated Nucleus PulpousA disc is made up of two parts, a hard outer layer and a soft central core. A tear in the outer layer can allow the soft center portion of the disc to leak. This ruptured (herniated) disc may press up against a spinal nerve, causing pain, numbness, tingling or weakness in your arms or legs. Herniated discs may occur at any level of the spine, but are more common in the lumbar or cervical areas. The second most common location is the thoracic, or chest, area.

 Spinal Stenosis

This is a form of arthritis in the spine. The spinal canal and foramina are openings where the spinal cords and nerves are located. Bony growths on the vertebra narrow these openings and cause pressure on the spinal cord and/or nerves. Patients may have pain, with numbness, tingling or weakness in the arms or legs. Spinal stenosis may occur at any level of the spine, but is most common in the lumbar and cervical spine.

 Degenerative Disc Disease

This is another form of arthritis to the spine. The discs between your vertebra shrink. Degenerative disc disease is often described as a "wear and tear" condition. It is a normal part of aging, but can also be caused by injury to the disc. Symptoms include pain in the involved areas of the spine and, in some instances, pain or numbness to the arms or legs. Loss of normal flexibility is also typical.


This is an abnormal spinal condition in which one vertebrae slips or is improperly aligned over the other vertebrae. This condition can affect the spinal nerves causing pain, numbness, tingling or weakness in the legs. Many individuals do not have symptoms with this condition while others experience longstanding back pain. Spondylolisthesis is most common in the lumbar area.


The normal spine is straight when viewed from the front or back. There are three natural curves when viewing the spine from the side. These curves maintain the spine in balance. Scoliosis is an abnormal lateral curvature of the spine. Patients with this condition may have an uneven or prominent waist, hip, trunk and/or shoulder. As a result, they may have back pain and lean to one side. In some individuals, scoliosis does not cause pain, but in others, it may be chronic.


This condition results in an abnormal forward bending of parts of the spine. It is most common in the thoracic region. It may result from a variety of causes. One inherited disorder that alters the normal formation of the vertebral bodies is Scheuermann's disease. X-rays in these patients show typical changes of wedging and irregular edges.

 Spinal Instability

This is a condition where the vertebrae of the spine become unstable. This can come from an injury or degenerative disorder. The normal structure and function of the spine is interrupted and deformity can result. In some cases, the spinal cord and/or spinal nerves are at risk for injury. Symptoms include pain, numbness, weakening and nerve damage.