Neck And Low Back Pain Specialist

Lance E. Gravely MD, Inc

Neurosurgeon located in Pasadena, CA & Encino, CA

Pain in your neck and lower back can be debilitating and keep you from doing the things you love. If you’re ready to regain your health, board-certified neurosurgeon Lance E. Gravely, MD takes a conservative, but technologically advanced approach to treating neck and low back pain. To find out how Dr. Gravely can help you, call or book a consultation online today with one of the offices conveniently located in Pasadena or Encino, California.

Neck and Low Back Pain Q & A

What causes neck pain?

Your neck is part of the long, flexible spinal column known as the cervical spine. It consists of seven bones, or vertebrae, and a framework of discs, nerves, muscles, and tissues. This complex structure makes your neck vulnerable to injuries.\

Injuries and aging are among the common causes of neck pain. Here are two of the most common types of these conditions.

Cervical stenosis

Brought on by a narrowing of the spinal canal, which compresses your spinal cord. Cervical stenosis is most frequently due to aging.

Neck trauma

Car accidents and sports injuries often cause neck pain. These traumatic events can produce joint injuries, torn muscles, ruptured ligaments, and damaged discs.

What causes low back pain?

Your low back is made of five vertebrae, cushioned by small discs that serve as shock absorbers, and threaded with dozens of pairs of nerves. The region is prone to problems. An estimated 75-85 percent of people in this country experience back pain at some point.

Low back pain may be brought on for many reasons, including:

  • A herniated or ruptured disc
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Sprains or strains
  • Radiculopathy
  • Sciatica

Spondylosis also causes low back pain. This is a condition where normal wear and tear over time breaks down your discs, joints, and vertebrae.

How are neck pain and low back pain diagnosed?

These conditions should always be diagnosed by a neurosurgeon with expertise, such as Dr. Gravely. He takes a complete medical history and performs a physical exam, which includes evaluating your symptoms.

To pinpoint the cause of your neck or low back pain, he may recommend diagnostic and imaging tests. These include:

  • Computed tomography scan (CT or CAT scan)
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Myelogram
  • Discography
  • Electromyography (EMG)
  • Nerve conduction studies (NCS)
  • Selective nerve root block

Because Dr. Gravely favors conservative treatment, he may recommend imaging tests only if medications and physical therapy haven’t helped relieve the pain.

How are neck pain and low back pain treated?

Depending on the cause of your condition, nonsurgical treatments are often the best option to help you feel like yourself again. Nonsurgical management typically includes medications to ease inflammation and pain. For low back pain, for example, Dr. Gravely may advise 4-6 weeks of conservative treatment before considering surgery.

If you’re seeking relief from low back pain or neck pain, trust your health to a board-certified neurosurgeon like Dr. Gravely. Call or book a consultation online today with Lance E. Gravely, MD.