Back Pain Doctor Austin, TX
Anatomy of the spine
Having a healthy spine involves being able to move well and be stable without discomfort, so if you are currently experiencing back pain, reach out to a back pain doctor in Austin, Texas to get you on the right track.
The spine is a complex structure, and its column consists of 5 different regions:
- Cervical spine (neck area) with 7 vertebrae
- Thoracic spine (torso area) with 12 vertebrae
- Lumbar spine (lower back area) with 5 vertebrae
- Sacrum (base of the spine between the two hip bones)
- Coccyx (“tailbone” at the base of the sacrum)
There are more than just bones that make up the spine, however. There are a lot of various structures that all work together to simultaneously stabilize you and allow you to move. Issues with any of these can lead to discomfort, pain, and a limited range of motion.
- Intervertebral discs – Between each vertebrae, there is a disc of fibrocartilage that acts as a shock absorber and prevents the vertebrae from rubbing against one another during movement.
- Facet joints – Between the vertebral bodies, there are joints that allow for spinal stability and mobility.
- Ligaments – Ligaments connect bone to bone, and the spinal ligaments connect the vertebrae to stabilize and bring extra support to the spine.
- Tendons – Tendons connect bone to muscle. Similarly to ligaments, they stabilize and support the spine.
- Muscles – Spinal muscles are important for bringing strength to the back. While it is important to remain flexible, you should also include back strengthening exercises in your workout plan in order to remain stable while working out and going about your daily life.
Common back conditions
Poor posture over time can greatly impact your spinal health. Ideally, a healthy spine is double-s shaped when viewed from the side. From behind, however, your spine should appear straight and without any excessive curvatures.
Scoliosis is a very common condition experienced by millions of Americans each year. This condition is characterized as having a sideways curvature of the spine.
Lordosis is characterized by having an excessive anterior tilt of the pelvis that leads to an inward curving of the lower back.
Excessive lordosis can lead to swayback, which is when an individual appears to be leaning back while they are standing.
- Kyphosis, commonly known as a “hunchback,” is another common postural issue, in which there is an excessive rounding of the spine.
- The pelvis can also have an excessive posterior tilt, which leads to your lower back arching inward.
- Herniated discs occur when the intervertebral discs between the vertebrates partially ruptures through the annulus, which is the strong structure that covers the gel-like nucleus of the disc.
Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints that can lead to pain and a limited range of motion as it progresses.
There are many different conditions that can lead to the issues presented above. If you are experiencing back pain, visit a doctor in Austin, Texas as soon as possible to prevent the pain from worsening and/or lasting an extended amount of time.
Prevention and treatment
A large majority of back pain can be prevented through practicing healthy spinal habits. These include:
- Integrating more back strengthening exercises
- Stretching to increase flexibility
- Ensuring proper form when lifting weights and when picking heavy objects up from the floor.
- Monitoring your posture throughout the day and avoid slouching for extended amounts of time
Injuries and health conditions still can occur even with proper prevention. If you have worsening or chronic back pain, create a plan to visit a doctor that works with back pain today. At Austin Physical Therapy, our therapists Cullen Nigrini and Dr. Robert Killebrew are specialized in orthopedics and have years of experience treating various conditions related to back pain. If you are looking for quality care and want to find relief from pain in Austin, Texas, call us at 512-609-0771 or reach us by email at email@example.com to schedule your evaluation today.