What Is An Annular Tear?
Annular tears are spinal conditions that affect the vertebral discs that cushion the bones of the spine. An annular tear occurs when the tough exterior of an intervertebral disc (the annulus fibrosus) rips or tears. Intervertebral discs serve as cushions between the vertebrae, providing support to the bone structure of the neck and back while also acting as shock absorbers. If too much stress is exerted on a disc, either from the continual performance of everyday activities such as sitting and standing, or as a result of sudden trauma, an annular tear can occur.
Factors that generate the most force are sitting, standing from a sitting position and maneuvers that increase pressure inside your abdomen, such as coughing, sneezing and straining.
The annulus can rupture anywhere around the disc and can leak the inner disc material which is very irritating to nerves and can cause intense pain and inflammation. Just like other ligaments, the discs can be injured and torn. Although most annular tears occur because of the natural aging process, they can also develop by any type of back trauma, such as the force of a car accident, a fall or a sports-related injury.
An annular tear often irritates and exposes the nerves of the intevertebral disc, which subsequently produces a great deal of pain. You can trust St. Louis Pain Consultants to diagnose your pain and discuss the many treatment options available today.
Common Annular Tear Symptoms
What to Expect
Proper diagnosis starts with an experienced pain management doctor. The type of pain that you may have with annular tears can be similar to the symptoms of several types of disorders. Accurately determining the correct source of your pain is critical to successful treatment.
A thorough clinical evaluation, including a complete medical history, analysis of your symptoms, and physical examination is critical to diagnose an annular Tear.
Every patient is different and we work with each one to establish an individualized, comprehensive plan, to achieve maximum relief. Pinpointing the source of pain and utilizing a targeted treatment plan makes our approach highly successful.
With the help of today’s technology, our pain management specialists accurately diagnose, target, and relieve the source of pain, to help you return to an active lifestyle.
Pain is usually the driving factor that causes a patient to seek treatment for a spine condition. Before we can recommend any treatment options, we must first diagnose the cause of your pain. The following tests are typically performed in order to diagnose an annular tear:
- CT scans
- Electro-diagnosis (EMG)
These advanced diagnostic techniques definitively pinpoint the source of pain and allow us to treat the pain. Once we diagnose an annular tear, we will create a treatment plan to reduce the symptoms of pain and discomfort while your body heals itself through the natural resorption process. Many patients can find effective relief through conservative therapy.