There are many types of spine problems, and you’ll find expert care for each one at Allegheny Health Network (AHN). Our spine team has decades of experience treating problems such as herniated disks, spinal stenosis, and lower back pain. We offer a broad range of services under one roof, including nonsurgical and surgical treatments so you can live your life to the fullest.
Treatment for spine problems at Allegheny Health Network: Why choose us?
At AHN, you receive care from orthopaedists who specialize in treating spine problems. We combine our expertise with the latest treatments to help you achieve exceptional results. Read more about our Spine Division.
We make every effort to treat problems without surgery, including using customized physical therapy for lower back pain. When surgery is necessary, we deliver sophisticated treatments through tiny incisions so you can get back to your daily activities faster. Read more about orthopaedic and sports injury treatments.
Types of spine problems
Your spine is a chain of bones (vertebrae) that helps you stand upright. The spine also protects your spinal cord, which is a bundle of nerves that allows your brain to communicate with the rest of your body.
Spine problems we treat include:
In between each of the spine’s vertebra lie disks made up of a soft substance, such as cartilage. Disks cushion your vertebrae as you twist and bend. A herniated or slipped disk happens when the disk moves out of place and puts pressure on nearby nerves.
Herniated disks can happen over time due to wear and tear. They might also occur as a result of an injury, such as a car accident.
Your spinal cord passes through small openings within the vertebrae down the entire length of your spine. Spinal stenosis happens when these openings narrow, putting pressure on the spinal cord. Some people are born with the condition. More often, spinal stenosis occurs with age.
Spinal trauma includes serious, potentially life-altering injuries affecting the spine:
- Fractured vertebrae: This injury occurs when small breaks (fractures) form in one or more vertebrae.
- Dislocation: On rare occasions, the body is hit with such force that one or more vertebrae push out of alignment.
- Spinal cord injury: These injuries affect the spinal cord’s ability to carry messages between the body and brain.
Spinal curvature disorders
These conditions occur when the shape of the vertebrae or their positioning (alignment) forms an abnormal curve in the spine.
Common spinal curvature disorders include:
- Kyphosis: A rounding in the upper back that happens when vertebrae curve outward
- Scoliosis: A disorder that causes a sideways curve in the spine, where the spine forms an S- or C-shape instead of a straight line
Other spine problems
We help you get relief from other conditions, including:
- Lower back pain: This condition has many causes, including poor posture. The pain may feel like a dull ache or sharp jolts. Read more about lower back pain.
- Spinal stenosis: This condition occurs when a part of the vertebrae near the spinal cord narrows, putting pressure on the spinal cord.
- Sciatica: A problem in the lower back puts pressure on the sciatic nerve and causes numbness or tingling in the legs.
- Spondylosis: This breakdown in the bones of the vertebrae typically occurs in older adults. Spondylosis is often a complication of other conditions, such as spinal stenosis or arthritis of the spine.
Treatments for spine problems
We recommend the treatments that are best for you based on the diagnosis and symptoms. We help many people feel better with nonsurgical treatments, including injections.
Problems that do not improve over time may require surgery. We use the latest spine imaging technologies during the procedure to pinpoint the source of the problem. These technologies help us deliver sophisticated treatments with a high degree of accuracy. Read more about robotic and minimally invasive orthopaedic surgery.