The annulus is the strong, fibrous outer layer of the disks between your spine bones (vertebrae). It connects the vertebrae together and supports your back and neck.
An annular tear occurs when the annulus is damaged. Annular tears are more common in older adults since the annulus can become thinner and less flexible with age. However, anyone may experience an annular tear after lifting heavy objects, twisting, bending the spine. Annular tears can also be more common in certain athletes like gymnasts or football players, who often twist and/or overextend their spines.
Symptoms for an annular tear can vary from person to person and depend on where the tear takes place in your back. The most common symptoms include:
To diagnose the cause of your back pain, one of The Spine Care Center’s physicians will ask you questions about the pain. These questions may include when it started, what you were doing at the time, and what makes the pain worse or better.
Your doctor will also perform a physical exam of your back and may also order an MRI. MRI images can help your physician see any problems with the discs and other soft tissue in your spine.
The experienced spine physicians at The Spine Care Center have helped thousands of patients from the Washington, D.C. area overcome back pain. Our fellowship-trained spine experts use a patient-centered approach that is customized to you, your health, and your lifestyle.
We strive to help you avoid surgery and achieve long-term pain relief by treating the cause of your pain. We’ll begin your treatment with safe, effective therapies such as:
With time and rest, your annular tear should heal, though it is more likely to tear again in the future. However, if your pain is severe and long-lasting, our highly skilled spine surgeon also performs minimally invasive surgeries to treat annular tears. These techniques use only small incisions, reducing your risk of pain and bleeding while also speeding up your recovery.
You can find relief from annular tear pain. Get help from our compassionate back pain experts by calling The Spine Care Center in Manassas today at (703) 257-2266, or by requesting an appointment online.