Clinical Conditions

Majority of patients that consult at a pain clinic do so for the following conditions. For more details of other painful conditions, please refer to the interactive body map (link).

Osteoarthritis (Spondylosis)
Spinal osteoarthritis, or spondylosis, is a degenerative disorder that may cause loss of normal spinal structure and function. Although aging is the primary cause, the location and rate of degeneration is individual. The degenerative process may impact the cervical, thoracic, and/or lumbar regions of the spine affecting the discs and spinal joints. This degenerative process may be inevitable but the pain that sometimes accompanies it can be avoided or treated.

Osteoporosis commonly affects the thoracic and thoracolumbar regions of the spine and may cause debilitating pain. This disorder is caused by a loss of bone mineral density resulting in fragile bones, which may fracture. Osteoporosis may cause vertebral compression fractures, loss of height, stooped posture, even a humped back. The patient can control some of the risks for osteoporosis. These include poor diet, smoking, excessive intake of alcohol, and inactivity. Refer to the following Osteoporosis segment for further details.

Compression Fracture
A compression fracture is a common fracture of the spine that may range from mild to severe. Each vertebral body is separated from the other by a disc. When an external force is applied to the spine, such as from a fall or carrying a sudden heavy weight, the forces may exceed the ability of the bone within the vertebral body to support the load. This may cause the vertebral body to crush. This is known as a compression fracture. If the entire vertebral body breaks, this is considered a burst fracture. Compression fractures are often associated with marked osteoporosis.

Whiplash injuries refers to neck pain which occurs following a motor vehicle accident. This is typically caused by hyperextension and/or hyperflexion because the head is forced to move backward and/or forward rapidly beyond the neck