The Different Disease Processes of the Lumbar Spine
Compression or squeezing on the nerves in the spinal cord or nerve roots may be causing many of the different types of symptoms that you may be experiencing. These symptoms may include pain in your back, buttocks and legs. Numbness, tingling and weakness are other symptoms that you may be experiencing occassionally or regularly. Other symptoms include loss of balance and problems with coordination and dexterity.
The compression of the nerves are caused by some of the following conditions:
Degenerative Disc Disease
Degenerative disc disease is a process referring to the disc aging and losing its ability to work as a cushion. During the aging process, or degeneration, the disc loses its elasticity, which can cause the disc to crack, flatten or eventually turn into bone. As the disc flattens, the bone (vertebrae) rub together, which can then cause bone spurs. These bone spurs can cause pressure on the nerves.
The disc is the cushion between the vertebrae. The inside of the disc, known as the nucleus, is made up of mostly water. A disc herniation refers to the outer part of the disc, known as the annulus, tearing, thus allowing the soft watery material on the inside of the disc to come out of the disc. The disc herniation can then cause pressure on the spinal nerves and/or the spinal cord.
A disease process referring to pressure or compression on the spinal cord causing difficulty with walking, balance, and the use of your hands.
Spondylosis is the degenerative arthritis of the spine. The arthritis can cause pression on the nerve roots.
A disc bulging refers to soft inner part of the disc remaining in the annulus, but that it is no longer in its proper place. The bulging disc can cause pression on the nerves and/or the spinal cord.
Spinal stenosis is where the bone spurs and thickened ligaments narrow the space through which the nerve roots exist in the spinal canal. Spinal stenosis can also restrict the space available for your spinal cord.
A disease process referring to the pressure on the nerve root causing you to have pain going into the leg(s).
A disease process referring to the failure of the bone to fuse.