Ambulatory Surgery Center - A medical facility licensed by the State of Texas where minor procedures which do not require an overnight stay are performed.
Anesthesiology - The branch of medical science that studies and applies anesthetics.
Arthritis - Inflammation of a joint or joints. The joints most commonly affected by osteoarthritis are the hips, hands, knees, and lower back. In some cases, arthritis in the spine can lead to a narrowing of the space around the spinal cord, a condition known as spinal stenosis.
Corticosteroids - Drugs used to reduce swelling, pain, and other symptoms of inflammation. (Not to be confused with anabolic steroids used to build muscle).
Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD) - is one of the most common causes of low back pain. It is also misunderstood and causes confusion. It is not actually a "disease," but rather a degenerative condition that at times can produce pain from a damaged disc. Disc degeneration is a natural part of aging, and over time a person develops changes in their discs. Not all people will develop symptoms, and those who do experience different levels in the severity of their symptoms.
Epidural Space - The space surrounding the nerves within the spinal canal. Nerves travel through the epidural space. Pain can occur when nerves become inflamed due to herniated discs or other processes that cause irritation to the nerve root.
Facet Joints - Joints which connect adjacent vertebrae. There are two facet joints at each level of the vertebral column. Their purpose is to provide stability to the spinal column and allow flexion/extension, rotation and lateral (side to side) bending. Nerve roots run directly under the facet joint. Spinal Stenosis occurs when these nerves are "pinched".
Herniated Disc - Discs are cushions between the vertebrae in the spine. The center of the disc is called the nucleus. It is soft and receives the shock during standing, running and walking. The outer layer is called the annulus. It is made up of strong layers of fibrous tissue that provides structure and strength to the disc and holds the nucleus in place. A herniation occurs when the nuclear tissue is forced from the center of the disc. Sometimes the pressure is great enough to cause the annulus to rupture. When the disc has herniated or ruptured, it may create pressure on one or more of the spinal nerves, causing pain. It may also cause weakness or numbness in the arm or leg. Other names associated with this condition are: slipped disc, ruptured disc, or prolapsed disc.
Interventional Pain Medicine - A discipline of medicine devoted to the diagnosis and treatment of pain related disorders. Interventional pain management utilizes a multidisciplinary approach to provide a full range of treatments for patients suffering from chronic and/or acute pain. The goal of interventional pain medicine is to relieve, reduce, or manage pain and improve a person’s overall quality of life through minimally invasive techniques designed to diagnose and treat painful conditions.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) - An imaging exam performed to generate images that may reveal herniated discs or problems with bone, muscles, tissue, tendons, nerves, or ligaments.
Nerve Root - The part of the nerve that leaves the spinal canal. Inflamed nerve roots from herniated discs or other disorders can lead to back pain.
Osteoporosis - A disease of the bones which causes a reduction in bone density.
Physiotherapy - A method of treatment which uses physical means to develop, maintain, and restore a patient’s movement and functional ability.
Sacroiliac Joint - A joint located between the sacrum (a bone at the base of the spine) and the pelvic bone.
Sciatica - A condition which causes sharp, shooting pain through the buttocks and back of the leg due to pressure on or injury to the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back down the leg. Numbness, tingling, or weakness in the leg can also occur.
Spinal canal - The tunnel that is formed within the stacked vertebrae. Nerves run through this canal.
Trigger Point - Hyperirritable spots in skeletal muscle that can feel like a knot in the muscle. The area is painful and can cause pain elsewhere when touched or stimulated.
Vertebrae - The bones that stack up to form the spine.
X-Ray - An imaging exam performed to show the alignment of bones and diagnose arthritis or broken bones.