Back | Neck | Spine

OPA’s spine specialists treat a wide variety of back, neck, and spine conditions and offer comprehensive treatment options—including many non-surgical solutions. All treatments work to restore pain-free spine function that allows patients to lead active, fulfilling lives.

Common Neck & Spine Conditions

Conditions involving the spine and neck range from extremely painful and debilitating to a chronic or nagging pain that over time can impact your mobility and quality of life. There are many causes of back and neck pain. Click the plus signs to learn more about each of the common conditions listed to the right.

Common Treatment Options

There are several surgical and non-surgical treatment options to help patients recover from injury or increase mobility and quality of life. These may
include one or more of the following:

Physical Therapy
Home Exercise
Lifestyle Modification
Lower Back Sprain
Lumbar (lower back) muscle strains and sprains are the most common causes of low back pain. Lumbar muscle strain is caused when muscle fibers are abnormally stretched or torn. Lumbar sprain is caused when ligaments, the tough bands of tissue that hold bones together, are torn from their attachments.

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Back Pain
One of the most common concerns for adults is lower back pain. Nearly everyone will experience lower back problems at some point in his or her lifetime, and the causes and symptoms can vary widely.

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Sciatica is one of the most common causes of lower back and lower extremity pain. Sciatica is caused by the compression of the sciatic nerve—the largest nerve in the body. The sciatic nerve runs through the lower back, buttock, thigh, and leg muscles. Symptoms usually only present on one side of the body.

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Herniated Disc
The bones that form the spine in the back are cushioned by small spongy discs and when these discs are healthy, they act as shock absorbers for the spine and keep the spine flexible. But when the disc is damaged, it may bulge or break open. This is called a herniated disc and it may also be called a slipped or ruptured disc.

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Spinal Stenosis
A type of degeneration, spinal stenosis occurs when the spinal canal narrows at one or more locations along the spine. This narrowing can happen as a result of trauma to, or deterioration of, the spine’s bones, discs, or joints.

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Myelopathy is a condition in which the spinal cord becomes compressed, often as a result of the spinal canal becoming narrower. If left untreated, this concern could eventually damage the spinal nerves and cause significant debilitation and pain. Myelopathy can occur at any level of the spine, but it most commonly affects the neck (cervical spine).

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Kyphosis is a spinal curvature disorder of the thoracic vertebrae. Kyphosis causes an abnormally pronounced “reverse c” shape, also known as a hunchback.

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OPA Back | Neck | Spine Team

For those suffering chronic back or neck pain due to a spinal condition, the comprehensive spine team at OPA utilizes the expertise Board Certified Orthopedic Spine Surgeons to treat spinal conditions. Our patient centered approach ensures that each patient’s care plan is based on their lifestyle, activities and goals. All the OPA physicians collaborate, sharing their respective expertise on complex cases and actively explore, train in and evaluate new techniques that are continually being developed around the world.

Our Back | Neck | Spine Providers

More Spine Conditions

Facet Joint Syndrome

The facet joints are joints between adjacent vertebrae that are responsible for movement. Facet joint syndrome, or facet joint osteoarthritis, occurs when facet joint cartilage becomes worn and torn with age or injury.

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Spondylosis is a descriptive term for spine pain and spine degeneration, but spondylosis is not a formal medical diagnosis. If you are experiencing spondylosis, our Board-Certified and Fellowship Trained Spine Team Specialist finds out exactly what is causing it.

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Neck Sprain

The seven bones of the spinal column in your neck (cervical vertebrae) are connected to each other by ligaments and muscles–strong bands of tissue that act like thick rubber bands. A sprain (stretch) or tear can occur in one or more of these soft tissues when a sudden movement causes the neck to bend to an extreme position.

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Neck Pain

The cervical spine, which refers to the bones of the neck, are very responsive, but they can also be more vulnerable to damage, disorders, and other concerns that can cause pain and limit movement. In most cases, neck pain is a temporary issue that will subside over time. However, more serious issues require evaluation and treatment to alleviate the symptoms.

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Scoliosis is a disorder that causes an abnormal curve of the spine, or backbone. The spine has normal curves when looking from the side, but it should appear straight when looking from the front.

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Degenerative Disc Disease

Degenerative disc disease occurs when the cushioning discs undergo changes as a result of an injury, disorder, or the natural process of aging. This condition can affect the spine at any location; however, the neck and lower back are the most commonly involved areas.

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Commonly called a pinched nerve, radiculopathy refers to any disorder or disease that affects the nerve roots of the spine. The pinched nerve can occur at different areas along the spine (cervical, thoracic or lumbar).

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The sacroiliac (SI) joints are shock-absorbing, weight-bearing joints that connect the spine to the pelvis. Sacroiliitis is a condition where the SI joints become irritated and inflamed due to injury, overuse, or aging.

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Spinal Compression Fractures

Thirty-three vertebrae perfectly align to form the spine—a bony structure that supports the body and protects the spinal cord. Spinal compression fractures have two common causes:

  • A traumatic spine compression fracture occurs when one or more of the vertebrae are broken during an accident or injury.
  • Spine compression fractures are tiny fractures that are caused by the bone disease osteoporosis.

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Failed Back Surgery Syndrome

Spine surgery is more effective than ever and minimally invasive procedures have allowed spine surgery to be performed with less surgical trauma, less postoperative pain, and a quicker recovery. The overwhelming majority of spine surgeries are very successful.

Failed back surgery syndrome is a term used to describe symptoms that occur after unsuccessful spine surgery.

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Spondylolisthesis is a condition where a vertebra “slips” or becomes displaced and can have varying degrees of severity. This causes the spine to become misaligned and can lead to serious concerns. If left untreated, a neurological impairment may result.

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The OPA team includes Alaska’s leading specialists and offers some of the latest, most advanced treatment procedures available today.

OPA treats a wide variety of conditions and offers comprehensive treatment options — including many non-surgical solutions, minimally invasive arthroscopies (repairs), and total joint replacement.

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