An annular tear occurs when the material of the annulus fibrosus is ripped or torn. The annulus fibrosus is comprised of strong cartilage material and provides support for the bone structure of your neck and back. There are different levels within our spine in which annular tears can occur, resulting in symptoms that are felt in different locations along the spine.
This spine condition can be caused by a number of issues, and spinal degeneration is the most common. As we age, the annulus becomes thinner, has less flexibility, and is more likely to become damaged.
Activities such as heavy lifting, twisting, and bending can cause the onset of this condition, and worsen it as well. Many of our patients describe hearing or feeling a “pop” sensation in their lower back when this occurs. Annular tears can be painful, but the severity of the pain will vary from person to person. Also, although the tear is located in your spine, you may feel numbness, tingling, and weakness in your arms or legs.
At The Spine Care Center, your spine expert will discuss the symptoms you’re experiencing, learn about your daily physical activity, and perform a thorough physical examination in order to diagnose and treat your condition. We use this information, plus diagnostic imaging of the area causing you pain, to determine whether or not you are suffering from an annular tear. Then, we develop a personalized treatment plan to address the cause of your pain, instead of simply providing you with temporary relief.
These tests will identify annular tears that may be causing you pain and affecting your ability to comfortably perform daily activities. Our specialized physicians work closely with each patient to insure a proper and balanced treatment. Treatments may include:
Depending on where your pain is located, we may also recommend:
These procedures are performed by our expert interventional pain management specialists. Your customized treatment plan will be presented by your Spine Care Center provider, and we will put you on the path toward living a life free of pain. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you treat your neck and back pain.