At the Spine Institute Northwest we offer sciatica relief and spine surgery in Seattle. Since we help patients with their spine problems every day, we are very used to the complex terminology and medical terms involving the spinal anatomy and common types of treatment. Our patients however aren’t always as familiar with these terms. Here are some common spinal anatomy terms explained. We are always happy to explain any terms to you, so if you have any questions when talking with your doctor or before your minimally invasive spine surgery, just ask.
- Spinal Column- Back pain often originates in the spinal column which consists of the spinal cord, bones, muscles and other tissues found in this area.
- Endoscopy- Endoscopy allows your doctor to see inside of your body to better diagnose and treat your back pain. A tool known as an endoscope is inserted into the body. Your doctor can look into the endoscope and get a better idea of what is going on inside of the body.
- Vertebrae- Vertebrae are the bones that surround your spinal cord providing structure and protection. Most people have 33 vertebrae broken into 3 categories: lumbar, thoracic and cervical. Sacrum is also a part of the spine and is found right below your lumbar vertebrae followed by coccyx (also known as tailbone).
- Fluoroscopy- Fluoroscopy is a real time x-ray that provides your doctor with a live view of what is going on inside of your body. We often use fluoroscopy during procedures to guide needles and to make sure that we provide treatment to the right areas of your back and spine.
- Lumbar- Lumbar refers to the lower back region.
- Disc- In between your vertebrae there are discs, bits of flexible tissue that absorb shock and keep the vertebrae from hitting each other. As you age they can break down causing back pain and other problems.
- Epidural Space- The epidural space is an area in the spinal column where many nerve endings and blood vessels are located. Some of our treatments involve injecting steroids and pain relievers into this space. Steroids can reduce inflammation while pain relievers can reduce discomfort. Many of these treatments are provided as an alternative to spine surgery in Seattle.
- Thoracic- The thoracic section of the spine refers to the mid back area.
- Cervical- The cervical section of the spine is in the neck area.
- Sacrum- The sacrum is the bottom of the spine. It is a large triangle shaped bone that is found between the two hip bones.
As you can see there is lot of terminology involved in treating spine and back problems. These are just a few of the many terms that you may hear as you visit our offices and talk with our doctors. Don’t the terminology scare you though; we are always happy to explain anything you don’t understand. Finding a solution to your back pain is worth learning a few new words! Contact us today and let the Spine Institute Northwest help you with your spine problems, back pain and sciatica relief in Seattle.