An annular tear is when the material of the annulus fibrosus tears or rips. The annulus fibrosus is made up strong cartilage material. The annulus fibrosus 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 to be felt in different locations of the spine.
There are many causes for this spine condition; one of the most common is degeneration of the spine. 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. We use this information, plus diagnostic imaging of the area causing you pain to determine whether or not you’re suffering from an annular tear. Then, we develop a personalized treatment plan to fix the cause of your pain— not just provide temporary relief.
These tests will identify annular tears that may be causing you pain and affecting your ability to perform daily activities comfortably. 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 towards living a life free of pain.