Blog Archive

4 Subtle Signs of Sciatica Mar 2nd, 2024

Sciatica is defined as any pain that radiates (radiculopathy) from the back down into the leg. However, it more accurately translates to pressure on the sciatic nerve’s spinal root, leading to pain, numbness, and weakness that travels from the lower back through the buttocks and down the outside of the...

When to Consider Back Surgery for a Herniated Disc Feb 8th, 2024

It’s possible a herniated spinal disc may cause no symptoms, but you’re more likely to experience a great deal of pain that comes from the disc material impinging upon (“pinching”) the spinal nerve root in its location. The pain travels, too, from the root into the peripheral areas of the...

Will Spinal Stenosis Ever Get Better on Its Own? Jan 8th, 2024

Your spine is an amazing structure. It comprises 24 interlocking bony vertebrae, each separated by an intervertebral disc. The disc cushions the spine and allows you to bend and twist. The combination forms a hollow tube that runs the spinal cord and other associated nerves that exit the canal through...

How Does Surgery for Sciatica Work? Dec 2nd, 2023

Sciatica is a widespread source of pain, affecting some 40% of Americans during their lifetimes. It’s caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve root in the spinal canal, called a “pinched” nerve or an “impingement.” The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in your body, stretching from the root in...

What Do Neurosurgeons Do? Nov 2nd, 2023

A neurosurgeon is a medical doctor specializing and receiving in-depth training in conditions affecting the nervous system: the brain, spinal cord, and nerves. They perform various surgical procedures to treat nervous system problems, but they generally try all nonoperative treatment methods, such as medications, steroid injections, and physical therapy, before...

I Have a Pinched Nerve in My Neck. Now What? Oct 3rd, 2023

Pinched nerves, aka impinged or compressed nerves, conjure up images of screaming pain and loss of function. That’s an apt description, as pinching occurs when a structure in or near the spinal column applies too much pressure on a nerve or nerve root, sending pain, weakness, numbness, and tingling along...

Signs that You Have a Pinched Nerve in Your Back Sep 7th, 2023

Pinched nerves, also known as impinged or compressed nerves, and they’re very common. Some 85 out of 100,000 US adults develop the condition every year. The “pinch” occurs when a nearby structure applies too much pressure on a nerve or nerve root, causing pain, weakness, tingling, and numbness along that nerve’s path....

Treating Painful Compression Fractures with Kyphoplasty Aug 8th, 2023

Bones are an organ that grows and decays and grows, over and over throughout your life. Osteoporosis is a bone disease that develops when too much bone tissue breaks down, when the body makes too little tissue to keep up with the breakdown, or both.  With osteoporosis, the bones become...

The Sacroiliac Joint: An Often Overlooked Cause of Back Pain Jul 11th, 2023

The sacroiliac (SI) joints connect the sacrum, the triangular bone between the lumbar (lower back) spine and the tailbone (coccyx), to the hip bone. These sturdy joints provide stability for the spine, act as shock absorbers, and help offset the load of the upper body on the lower limbs. These...

Seeking Low Back Pain Relief? ReActiv8® Therapy Could Be the Answer Jun 7th, 2023

Back pain is all too common. About 4 out of 5 people will develop back pain at some point during their lives. The pain may result from a wide variety of conditions, though injuries to the muscles and ligaments that support your spine are a leading cause. At Vertrae®, board-certified neurosurgeon Dr. Kamal...

How Can Spinal Stenosis Surgery Change a Patient's Life? May 4th, 2023

Your spine contains 24 interlocking bony vertebrae, each separated by an intervertebral disc that prevents the bones from rubbing together and cushions the shock of movement. The stack contains a hollow tube down the center, through which runs the spinal cord, associated nerves, and peripheral nerves that exit the canal...

All About Degenerative Disc Disease: Risk Factors, Symptoms, and Treatment Options Apr 12th, 2023

Degenerative disc disease (DDD) isn’t really a disease, but, instead, it’s a spinal condition where wear-and-tear or other damage to an intervertebral disc leads to pain, including pain from a “pinched” or impinged-upon spinal nerve. The pain can be localized or spread along the nerve’s path into an extremity. It’s...

When Is it Time to Consider Artificial Disc Replacement Surgery? Mar 14th, 2023

Your spine endures a lot. It supports the weight of your head, allowing you to stand up straight. It allows you to bend forward, backward, and flex from side-to-side. And it protects the delicate spinal cord and nerve roots that run through the spinal canal. With so much going on,...

5 Sciatica Treatments that Can Help Feb 14th, 2023

The sciatic nerve extends from the lumbar (lower back) spine and splits off into two branches, each of which travels through your buttocks and down the outside of your legs and into your feet. It’s the longest nerve in your body, servicing the back of your thighs and your lower...

7 Key Benefits of Physical Therapy After Back Surgery Jan 20th, 2023

The spine is an amazing structure — strong enough to support your head upright, but flexible enough to let you bend, flex, and twist. Unfortunately, though, it’s not indestructible. Whether due to injury, disease, or just getting older, components may become damaged and stop functioning properly, leaving you with back...

How Neuromodulation Relieves Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy Dec 12th, 2022

Diabetes is a disease characterized by high glucose (sugar) levels in the blood. It occurs either when the pancreas’ beta cells fail to make the hormone insulin, responsible for moving sugar into cells to be converted to energy (type 1), or when the cells themselves become resistant to insulin’s effects...

Does a Pinched Nerve Resolve on Its Own? Nov 9th, 2022

Pinched nerves also go by the names impinged or compressed nerves. They’re very common, affecting about 85 out of 100,000 US adults every year. The “pinch” occurs when something applies too much pressure on a nerve or spinal nerve root, leading to pain, weakness, tingling, and numbness along that nerve. The most...

Which of These 4 Types of Back Surgery Is Right for You? Oct 12th, 2022

The spine is an amazing example of biological architecture — strong enough to keep your back straight and support your head upright but flexible enough to let you bend, flex, and twist. It’s not indestructible, though. Due to injury, disease, and even getting older, structures may become damaged and cease...

Consider These 3 Treatment Options for Sciatica Sep 9th, 2022

Sciatica is a form of radiculopathy, pain that travels from a “pinched” nerve root in the spinal canal down the length of the nerve into an extremity, in this case the leg. The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in your body, extending from the lumbar (lower back) spine and...

4 Conditions that Respond Well to Robotic Surgery Aug 5th, 2022

At Vertrae®, with offices in Dayton and Springfield, Ohio, board-certified neurosurgeon and neurological spine surgeon Dr. Kamal Woods and his team treat a number of spine-related conditions using state-of-the-art technologies, including robotic surgery systems. These systems allow them to map out a surgical plan in great detail, as well as improve the accuracy...

Understanding the Different Types of Minimally Invasive Surgery Jul 10th, 2022

It used to be that all surgeries were done with an “open” technique that involved long incisions, extended hospital stays and recovery times, and increased risks of blood loss and infection. In the 1980s, minimally invasive surgery emerged as a safe and effective technique for many procedures. One of the...

Choosing Robotic Surgery When Conservative Methods Haven't Worked Jun 2nd, 2022

Surgery is usually the treatment option of last resort. Doctors start with conservative methods to treat illness and injury, but when they fail to produce results, surgery may become a viable choice. At Vertrae®, board-certified neurosurgeon and neurological spine surgeon Dr. Kamal Woods and his staff specialize in using state-of-the-art surgical technologies,...

How Steroid Injections Can Treat Your Pinched Nerve May 1st, 2022

Pinched nerves, also called impinged or compressed nerves, are very common, affecting some 85 out of 100,000 US adults every year. They happen when something applies too much pressure on a nerve or nerve root, including cartilage, muscles, tendons, bone spurs, or the material oozing out from a herniated disc. That added...

Can Back Surgery Relieve My Osteoarthritis? Apr 4th, 2022

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis, of which there are over 100 different types. This wear-and-tear condition occurs when joint bones’ protective cartilage wears away, leaving the bones to grate against one another, causing inflammation, pain, and swelling. OA can affect any joint, including the facet joints of...

Treating Your Bone Spurs with Robotic Surgery Mar 3rd, 2022

Bone spurs, medically called osteophytes, are smooth, bony lumps that often develop near joints, places where two or more bones come together. They grow over a long period of time and may not produce symptoms until they’re large enough to impinge on nearby nerves. Bone spurs most commonly form in...

How Physical Therapy Can Treat Your Sciatica Feb 1st, 2022

The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the body. It starts in the lumbar (lower back) spine, and splits off into two branches, each of which travels through your buttocks and to the outside of the legs and feet. If the nerve root at L4-L5 and/or L5-S1 should become...

Understanding the Two Main Types of Spinal Stenosis Jan 18th, 2022

Your spine is made up of 24 interlocking bony vertebrae, each separated by an intervertebral disc that both cushions the spine and allows you to bend. The combination forms a hollow tube, which runs the spinal cord and other associated nerves that exit the canal and extend to various parts...

The Link Between Degenerative Disc Disease and a Pinched Nerve Dec 6th, 2021

“Degenerative disc disease” is something of a misnomer — DDD isn’t a disease, but rather a spinal condition where damage to an intervertebral disc leads to pain, including pain from a “pinched” or impinged-upon nerve.  Pinching of the nerve may cause pain that spreads into an extremity. Disc degeneration can...

The Benefits of Minimally Invasive Spinal Surgery Nov 15th, 2021

Back pain is all too common, affecting 8 out of 10 people at least once during their lives. Your spine is made up of 24 bony vertebrae, each with soft intervertebral discs that absorb shock and help allow you to bend, turn, and flex. The spine extends from the base...

5 Common Causes of Neck and Back Pain Oct 20th, 2021

Neck and back pain are common complaints, with 60-80% of adults experiencing back pain at some point in their lives, and 20-70% experiencing neck pain. Both can interfere with your daily activities and become disabling if not treated. According to board-certified neurosurgeon Dr. Kamal R. Woods at Vertrae®, which has...

4 Telltale Symptoms of Sciatica Sep 7th, 2021

Your sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in your body, starting in the lumbar spine (lower back) and traveling through your buttocks and down the outside of each leg. When it becomes “pinched,” say from an injury, a herniated disc, or spinal stenosis, you feel pain, numbness, and/or tingling radiating...

Understanding Spondylosis Aug 16th, 2021

Spondylosis is also called spinal osteoarthritis. It refers to wear-and-tear degeneration (osteoarthritis) in the joints of the spine, and it becomes more common as you age. Greater than 80% of people older than 40 show some signs of the condition on X-rays, and, according to the Arthritis Foundation, it may...

7 Advantages of Robotic Surgery Jul 26th, 2021

First there was open surgery, but it required large incisions, carried some serious risks, and made for a long recovery. Then there came minimally invasive surgery, which could perform the same procedures but required smaller incisions; it had fewer risks, especially of bleeding and infection; and had a shortened recovery...

Signs You Need a Disc Replacement Jun 28th, 2021

Your spine is an amazing structure. It provides enough stiffness to let you walk erect but enough flexibility that you can bend, twist, and pivot. Much of that flexibility comes about because of the discs that fit between the bones, providing cushioning with movement and preventing bone-on-bone grating. If something...

5 Factors that Could Be Contributing to Your Sciatica May 21st, 2021

Your sciatic nerve extends from your lower back through your buttocks and to each of your legs and feet, and is the longest nerve in your body. If it should become pinched, compressed, or irritated, you can experience pain, numbness, and tingling anywhere along its length, with the pain ranging...

Spotting the Warning Signs of a Pinched Nerve Apr 9th, 2021

Pinched nerves cause pain in your neck (or back), but that’s not all. Pinched nerves affect the health and function of your nerves. Left untreated, a pinched nerve can contribute to permanent nerve damage. The good news is pinched nerves can be treated, and board-certified neurosurgeon Kamal Woods, MD, MBA,...

Welcome to Vertrae.com Jun 5th, 2020

After shopping around, we decided to build this website ourselves.  We wanted the content to be original and organic.  There is a tremendous amount of passion behind Vertrae (pronounced "Ver-Tray").  The word itself is a combination of 2 words: virtual and vertebrae (spine). Our goal is to provide spine care...