Disability & Life Insurance and ERISA Attorneys
Doing What’s Right For Greater Colorado and the Rocky Mountain Region
Disability & Life Insurance and ERISA Attorneys
Doing What’s Right For Greater Colorado and the Rocky Mountain Region

Acromioclavicular (AC) Joint Separation

AC Joint Separation involves the acromioclavicular joint (also called the AC joint). The AC joint is where the collarbone (clavicle) meets the highest point of the shoulder blade (acromion). If the force is severe enough, the ligaments attaching to the underside of the clavicle are torn. This causes the “separation” of the collarbone and wingbone. The wingbone actually moves downward from the weight of the arm. This creates a “bump” or bulge above the shoulder.

The injury can range from a little change in configuration with mild pain, to quite deforming and very painful. Good pain-free function often returns even with a lot of deformity. The greater the deformity, the longer it takes for pain-free function to return.


Anterolisthesis / Spondylolisthesis

Anterolisthesis, also known as spondylolisthesis, is a spine condition in which the upper vertebral body slips forward onto the vertebra below. In some cases, this may lead to your spinal cord or nerve roots being squeezed.  This can cause back pain and numbness or weakness in one or both legs.  In rare cases, it can also lead to losing control over your bladder or bowels.  Spondylolisthesis could be caused by a defective joint, a joint damaged by accident or other trauma, a vertebra with a stress fracture caused from overuse of the joint, or a joint damaged by an infection or arthritis.

Symptoms of spondylolisthesis can include back or buttock pain; pain that runs from the lower back down one or both legs; difficulty walking; leg, back, or buttock pain that gets worse when you bend over or twist; loss of bladder or bowel control, in severe cases.

William Blahd, M.D., Pain Management: Spondylolisthesis, WebMD (July 14, 2017), https://www.webmd.com/back-pain/guide/pain-management-spondylolisthesis


Bunions are a bony bump that forms on the joint at the base of your big toe. A bunion forms when your big toe pushes against your next toe, forcing the joint of your big toe to get bigger and stick out. The skin over the bunion might be red and sore.

Possible complications include:

  • Bursitis: This painful condition occurs when the small fluid-filled pads (bursae) that cushion bones, tendons and muscles near your joints become inflamed.
  • Hammertoe: An abnormal bend that occurs in the middle joint of a toe, usually the toe next to your big toe, can cause pain and pressure.
  • Metatarsalgia: This condition causes pain and inflammation in the ball of your foot.

Bunions, Mayo Clinic (July 29, 2017), https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/bunions/symptoms-causes/syc-20354799


Bursitis is a painful condition that affects the small, fluid-filled sacs – called bursae – that cushion the bones, tendons, and muscles near your joints. Bursitis occurs when bursae become inflamed. The most common locations for bursitis are in the shoulder, elbow, and hip. But you can also have bursitis by your knee, heel, and the base of your big toe. Bursitis often occurs near joints that perform frequent repetitive motion.

If you have bursitis, the affected joint might feel achy or stiff, hurt more when you move it or press it, or look swollen and red.

Bursitis, Mayo Clinic (Aug. 12, 2017), https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/bursitis/symptoms-causes/syc-20353242

Calcaneal Spurring

Calcaneal spurring is a bony spur, also known as a heel spur, that projects from the back or underside of the heel bone (the calcaneus) and may make walking painful. Calcaneal spurs are associated with inflammation of the Achilles tendon (Achilles tendinitis), and cause tenderness and pain at the back of the heel, which is made worse by pushing off the ball of the foot. Spurs under the sole (the plantar area) are associated with inflammation of the plantar fascia, which is the bowstring-like tissue that stretches from the heel underneath the sole. These spurs can cause localized tenderness and pain that is made worse by stepping down on the heel. Calcaneal spurs and plantar fasciitis can occur alone, or they can be related to underlying diseases that cause arthritis, such as reactive arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis.

Calcaneal Spurring, Medicine Net, http://www.medicinenet.com/

Cauda Equina Syndrome

Cauda Equina Syndrome is a rare disorder that usually is a surgical emergency. In patients with cauda equina syndrome, something compresses on the spinal nerve roots. You may need fast treatment to prevent lasting damage leading to incontinence and possibly permanent paralysis of the legs.  CES affects a bundle of nerve roots called cauda equina (Latin for horse’s tail). These nerves are located at the lower end of the spinal cord in the lumbosacral spine. They send and receive messages to and from your legs, feet, and pelvic organs.


Cervical Syrinx

Cervical syrinx is a fluid-filled cavity within the spinal cord (syringomyelia) usually resulting from lesions that partially obstruct cerebrospinal fluid flow.  Symptoms include faccid weakness of the hands and arms and deficits in pain and temperature sensation over the back and neck.  At least half of all syrinxes occur in patients with congenital abnormalities of the craniocervical junction, brain, or spinal cord.  Syringomyelia typically causes weakness, atrophy, and often fasciculations and hyporeflexia of the hands and arms.  Treatment sometimes includes surgical decompression, but surgery usually cannot reverse severe neurologic deterioration

Rubin, Michael, MDCM. Syrinx of the Spinal Cord or Brain Stem. Merck Manual. https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/neurologic-disorders/spinal-cord-disorders/syrinx-of-the-spinal-cord-or-brain-stem


Cervicalgia is neck pain that occurs toward the rear or the side of the cervical (upper) spinal vertebrae. It generally is felt as discomfort or a sharp pain in the neck, upper back, or shoulder. The term cervicalgia covers a broad range of neck pain causes, including whiplash, muscle strain, ligament sprain, and inflammation of the neck joints. It also can be caused by a number of issues in the region of the cervical vertebrae, including a bulging disc, a pinched nerve, narrowing of the spinal canal (stenosis), spinal arthritis, or degenerative disc disease.

Symptoms of cervicalgia include: sharp or constant pain in the neck, pain associated with rotating or twisting the head, tightness or stiffness in the neck, shoulders or upper back, tenderness when the area is touched, headaches.

Cervicalgia, Laser Spine Institute, https://www.laserspineinstitute.com/back_problems/neck_pain/overview/cervicalgia/

Degenerative Disc Disease (Lumbar, Cervical & Thoracic Spine)

Degenerative disc disease is a term used to explain the changes that occur in a person’s spinal discs as they age, although some patients may inherit a prematurely aging spine. It commonly occurs in the lumbar spine or cervical spine.  Developing degenerative disc disease is a gradual process; the discs can bulge, herniate, or thin.   As the space between the vertebrae gets smaller, there is less padding between them, and the spine becomes less stable. The body reacts to this by constructing bony growths called bone spurs (osteophytes). Bone spurs can put pressure on the spinal nerve roots or spinal cord, resulting in pain and affecting nerve function. Patients with degenerative disc disease notice more pain when sitting for a long time, bending, lifting, or twisting.

Tyler Wheeler, M.D., What is Degenerative Disc Disease?, WebMD (Dec. 17, 2017), https://www.webmd.com/back-pain/degenerative-disk-disease-overview#1

Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome

EhlersDanlos Syndrome is a group of inherited disorders that affect your connective tissues – primarily your skin, joints and blood vessel walls.  Connective tissue is a complex mixture of proteins and other substances that provides strength and elasticity to the underlying structures in your body.  People who have Ehlers-Danlos syndrome usually have overly flexible joints and stretchy, fragile skin.  This can become a problem if you have a wound that requires stitches, because the skin often isn’t strong enough to hold them…Symptoms of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome include: overly flexible joints; stretchy skin; fragile skin; fatty lumps at pressure points.  Symptom severity can vary from person to person.



Enthesopathy is a disorder at the site of the insertion of ligaments, tendons, fascia, or articular capsule into bone (enthesis) and is the result of an inflammatory rheumatic or non-rheumatic disease process. In Enthesopathy, pain develops in the free nerve endings of entheses (enthesalgia), becoming a source of chronic musculoskeletal pain in some individuals. This process also may promote abnormal calcification or ossification of the tendon or ligament at the insertion into the bone.


Epidural Lipomatosis

Epidural Lipomatosis refers to an excessive accumulation of fat within the spinal epidural space, typically in the lumbar region, such that the thecal sac is compressed, and in some instances results in compressive symptoms. Clinical presentation is non-specific, with pain, radicular symptoms and weakness and paresthesia encountered, similar to other degenerative conditions of the spine resulting in stenosis.


Facet Joint Disorders

Facet joint disorders are some of the most common of all the recurrent, disabling low back and neck problems, and can cause serious symptoms and disability for patients. Symptoms may include the following: acute episodes of lumbar and cervical facet joint pain; persisting point tenderness overlying the inflamed facet joints; more discomfort while leaning backward than while leaning forward; and low back pain from the facet joints radiating down into the buttocks and down the back of the upper leg.

Charles D. Ray, M.D., Symptoms and Diagnosis of Facet Joint Problems, Spine-Health (updated Dec. 20, 2002), https://www.spine-health.com/conditions/arthritis/symptoms-and-diagnosis-facet-joint-problems

i.        Cervical Facet Syndrome

Cervical facet syndrome, also known as cervical facet disease or cervical osteoarthritis, is the structural deterioration of one or more of the vertebral facet joints in the cervical segment of the spine, which is located in the neck. This type of osteoarthritis is particularly common later in life, and can lead to significant, chronic pain if left untreated. As is the case with most degenerative spine conditions, treatment of cervical facet syndrome is normally first attempted conservatively, with more invasive options considered if pain persists.

Symptoms of cervical facet syndrome include: local pain at the site of the joint, soreness or stiffness in the neck, limited mobility, and headaches. In addition to these issues, people with facet syndrome may also encounter problems due to bone spur growth.

Treatment of cervical facet syndrome is most often first attempted conservatively with nonsurgical techniques. A course of conservative treatments may include pain medications, physical therapy, application of heat or ice, wearing a neck brace, or facet joint injections.

Overview of Cervical Facet Syndrome, Laser Spine Institute, https://www.laserspineinstitute.com/back_problems/facet_syndrome/types/cervical/


ii.        Facet Arthropathy

Facet arthropathy refers to a degenerative disease that affects the joints of the spine and the disintegration of cartilage on those joints. The strongest structures of the spine are the vertebrae, which essentially are bones stacked into a column. This column of hard bones is able to move because joint surfaces, called facet joints, are located on the top and bottom of the vertebrae. The facet joints are coated with cartilage and a synovial membrane that secretes lubricating fluid; these coatings keep neck and back motion smooth and supple. When facet joint arthropathy occurs, cartilage begins to wear away from the facet joints. This forces the bony vertebrae to make direct contact with one another, making any movement of the joint stiff and painful.

A Complete Guide to Facet Joint Arthropathy, Laser Spine Institute, https://www.laserspineinstitute.com/back_problems/facet_disease/articles/facet_joint_arthropathy/


iii.        Facet Hypertrophy

Facet hypertrophy is an enlargement of one or more facet joints. These joints connect the spinal vertebrae to facilitate flexibility and motion. Hypertrophy of the facet joints is usually experienced by people over the age of 30. The reason the condition is usually found in middle-aged adults is that, over time, due to a traumatic injury, the facet joints progressively degenerate.

The joint enlargement of facet hypertrophy is typically a result of the body’s own healing mechanisms. In an attempt to make deteriorating joints stronger, the body will encourage the accumulation of bone tissue on the joints. This reaction, however, makes the joints larger and increases pressure on the surrounding areas. In fact, facet hypertrophy can cause the joints to become enlarged to the point that they exert pressure on the spinal nerves.

What is Facet Hypertrophy?, Laser Spine Institute, https://www.laserspineinstitute.com/back_problems/facet_disease/facet_hypertrophy/

Haglund’s Deformity

Haglund’s deformity is a bony enlargement on the back of the heel. The soft tissue near the Achilles tendon becomes irritated when the bony enlargement rubs against shoes. This often leads to painful bursitis, which is an inflammation of the bursa (A fluid-filled sac between the tendon and bone).

Haglund’s deformity can occur in one or both feet. The symptoms include: a noticeable bump on the back of the heel; pain in the area where the Achilles tendon attaches to the heel; swelling in the back of the heel; and redness near the inflamed tissue.

Haglund’s Deformity, Foot Health Facts, https://www.foothealthfacts.org/conditions/haglund%E2%80%99s-deformity

Herniated Disk

A herniated disk refers to a problem with one of the rubbery cushions (disks) between the individual bones (vertebrae) that stack up to make your spine. A spinal disk has a softer center encased within a tougher exterior. A herniated disk occurs when some of the softer center pushes out through a tear in the tougher exterior. A herniated disk can irritate nearby nerves and result in pain, numbness or weakness in an arm or leg.

Disk herniated is most often the result of a gradual, aging-related wear and tear called disk degeneration. As you age, your spinal disks lose some of their water content. That makes them less flexible and more prone to tearing or rupturing with even a minor strain or twist. Most people can’t pinpoint the exact cause of their herniated disk. Sometimes, using your back muscles instead of your leg and thigh muscles to lift large, heavy objects can lead to a herniated disk, as can twisting and turning while lifting.

Herniated Disk, Mayo Clinic (Mar. 6, 2018), https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/herniated-disk/symptoms-causes/syc-20354095

Lateral Epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow)

Lateral Epicondylitis is also called Tennis elbow and is inflammation, soreness, or pain on the outside of the upper arm near the elbow.  Any activity that involves repetitive twisting of the wrist can lead to this condition.  Symptoms include elbow pain that gradually worsens, pain radiating from the outside of the elbow to the forearm and back of the hand when grasping or twisting, and weak grasp.

Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis). Orthopedic Associates. https://www.oaph.com/patient-resources/education/tennis-elbow-lateral-epicondylitis


Lumbago is the general term referring to low back pain, and the two terms are often used interchangeably. The underlying causes of low back pain can be complex and are not always readily apparent. When determining the underlying cause of lower back pain, two main factors help guide the physician in making a preliminary diagnosis:

  1. The type of low back pain – meaning a description of how the pain feels, what makes it better or worse, when it occurs, and
  2. The area of pain distribution – meaning where the pain is felt, if it is confined to the low back, or if the accompanying leg pain is worse than the low back pain, or if the pain radiates elsewhere in the body.

Ari Ben-Yishay, MD, Understanding Low Back Pain (Lumbago), Spine-Health (updated Apr. 25, 2012), https://www.spine-health.com/conditions/lower-back-pain/understanding-low-back-pain-lumbago

Lumbar disk Disease

Lumbar Disk Disease is a degenerative disc disease in the lumbar spine, or lower back, refers to a syndrome in which a compromised disc causes low back pain. Although there is a slight genetic component to individuals who suffer from DDD, the true cause is probably multifactorial. It could be from simple wear and tear or may have a traumatic cause.




Myelopathy is a disorder that results from severe compression of the spinal cord. Causes include spinal stenosis, spinal trauma and spinal infections as well as autoimmune, oncological, neurological and congenital disorders.

i.        Cervical Myelopathy:

Occurs in the neck and is the most common form of myelopathy. Neck pain is one of the symptoms of cervical myelopathy, but not all patients experience it.

ii.        Thoracic Myelopathy:

Occurs in the middle region of the spine. The spinal cord in this area typically gets compressed due to bulging or herniated discs, bone spurs, or spinal trauma

iii.        Lumbar Myelopathy:

Is a rare condition, however, if the spinal cord is low-lying or tethered, it can be affected by lumbar myelopathy.

Myelopathy. John Hopkins Medicine. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/conditions/nervous_system_disorders/myelopathy_22,Myelopathy

Myoadenylate Deaminase Deficiency (MADD)

Myoadenylate deaminase deficiency (MADD), also referred to as adenosine monophosphate deaminase deficiency.  This condition is characterized by excruciating muscle aches and cramps, and severe fatigue, usually following exercise.  Simply put, “myoadenylate deaminase deficiency is a metabolic muscle disease that interferes with the muscle cell’s processing of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the major energy molecule of the cell.”

Myoadenylate deaminase deficiency. MedLink. http://www.medlink.com/article/myoadenylate_deaminase_deficiency

Neuroforaminal Narrowing

Neuroforaminal narrowing refers to a reduction of the size of the opening in the spinal column through which the spinal nerve exits. As this opening narrows, the nerve becomes compressed, which in turn can lead to pain that radiates along the path of the nerve.

For a lumbar nerve, the neuroforaminal narrowing can affect the nerve roots that make up the sciatic nerve, resulting in sciatica. The narrowing often occurs as part of the lumbar spinal stenosis.

For a cervical nerve, the neuroforaminal narrowing can affect the nerve roots that run down the arm and into the hand. The narrowing can affect the nerve roots that run down the arm and into the hand. The narrowing can also affect the spinal cord, leading to neurological symptoms. This condition may be part of cervical spinal stenosis, or if the spinal cord is affected, cervical myelopathy.

Neuroforaminal Narrowing Definition, Spine-Health, https://www.spine-health.com/glossary/neuroforaminal-narrowing

Osteogenesis Imperfecta

Osteogenesis Imperfecta is a genetic condition which causes extremely fragile bones. The severity of OI depends on the specific gene defect. All people with OI have weak bones, which makes them susceptible to fractures. The classic symptoms include blue tint to the white of their eyes, multiple bone fractures, early hearing loss. People with OI often have loose joints and flat feet.

Osteogenesis imperfecta. Genetics Home Reference. https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/osteogenesis-imperfecta


If you have osteopenia, you have lower bone density than normal. Your bone density peaks when you’re about 35 years old. Bone mineral density (BMD) is the measurement of how much bone mineral is in your bones. Your BMD estimates that chances of breaking a bone from a normal activity. People who have osteopenia have a lower BMD than normal.

About half of Americans older than age 50 get osteopenia.

Sandy McDowell, What is Osteopenia?, Health Line (updated July 6, 2017), https://www.healthline.com/health/osteopenia

Patella-Femoral Syndrome (PFS)

Patella-Femoral Syndrome (PFS) is characterized by a group of symptoms that are easily diagnosed and often respond to simple management. The common presentation is knee pain in association with positions of the knee that result in increased or misdirected mechanical forces between the kneecap and femur. Surgical intervention for patellofemoral syndrome usually is in the form of arthroscopic evaluation followed by release of the lateral attachments of the patella.


Piriformis Syndrome

Piriformis Syndrome is a condition in which the piriformis muscle, located in the buttock region, spasms and causes buttock pain.  This muscle can also irritate the nearby sciatic nerve and cause pain, numbness, and tingling along the back of the leg and into the foot.  Causes of piriformis syndrome include muscle spasm in the muscle, tightening of the muscle because of injury or spasm, swelling of the muscle, or bleeding in the area of the muscle.

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. It involves inflammation of a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes. Plantar fasciitis commonly causes stabbing pain that usually occurs with your first steps in the morning. As you get up and move more, the pain normally decreases, but it might return after long periods of standing or after rising from sitting. Plantar fasciitis is more common in runners. In addition, people who are overweight and those who wear shoes with inadequate support have an increased risk of plantar fasciitis.

Ignoring plantar fasciitis may result in chronic heel pain that hinders your regular activities. Changing the way you walk to minimize plantar fasciitis pain might lead to food, knee, hip or back problems.

Plantar Fasciitis, Mayo Clinic (Mar. 7, 2018), https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/plantar-fasciitis/symptoms-causes/syc-20354846

Post Laminectomy Syndrome / Failed Back Syndrome

Post laminectomy syndrome, also known as failed back syndrome, is a condition where the patient suffers from persistent pain in the back following surgery to the back. A laminectomy is a procedure where a part of the vertebra that protects the spinal cord is removed. It is usually performed to relieve pressure on the spinal cord from a protruding disc. Very often, following a laminectomy, patients recover without any complications. However in a small group of people, back pain and sometimes leg pain may persist following laminectomy. This persistent pain is called post laminectomy syndrome.

The most common symptoms that patients experience is back pain at the site of surgery along with leg pain. As a result of the pain, patients have difficulty performing their activities of daily living and may have difficulty sleeping as well. The longer the pain lasts, the more of an impact it can have on the patient’s lives resulting in depression and anxiety.

Post Laminectomy Syndrome, Neurosurgical Associates, PC, http://neurosurgicalassociatespc.com/post-laminectomy-syndrome/


Radiculitis, also referred to as radicular pain, is painful inflammation along a spinal nerve’s pathway due to pressure on the nerves. Pressure related to inflammation on a nerve that causes radicular pain can be caused by several spinal conditions, such as a herniated disc or osteoarthritis. Radiculitis can affect any part of the spine and each type causes different symptoms. Radiculitis can affect the extremities and be accompanied by tingling, numbness and weakness. The following are the types of radiculitis:

 i.        Cervical Radiculitis

This refers to an inflamed nerve in the cervical spine (neck), which consists of seven vertebrae beginning at the base of the skull.

ii.        Thoracic Radiculitis –

This refers to an inflamed nerve in the thoracic spine, which is the upper and mid-back.

iii.        Lumbar Radiculitis –

This refers to an inflamed nerve in the lumbar spine, which is the lower back.

What is Radiculitis?, Back Pain Centers of America, https://backpaincenters.com/conditions/radiculitis


Radiculopathy is a term that describes damage to spinal nerve roots. It can occur at any level along the spine. It is usually a result of nerve root compression, which occurs when something puts pressure on the nerve root. Most of the time the pressure comes from a herniated disc, although bone spurs are another common cause of nerve root compression.

Symptoms of radiculopathy include neck and/or shoulder pain, headache and sharp pain, weakness, numbness, tingling or other nerve symptoms going down the leg or arm, impaired reflexes, weakness, muscle stiffness, and limited motion. Radiculopathy can have different symptoms and different names depending on where in the spine it occurs.

i.        Cervical Radiculopathy

Cervical radiculopathy describes a compressed nerve root in the neck (cervical spine). Because the nerve roots in this area of the spine primarily control sensations in your arms and hands, this is where the symptoms are most likely to occur.

ii.        Lumbar Radiculopathy

When radiculopathy occurs in the lower back, it is known as lumbar radiculopathy, also referred to as sciatica because nerve roots that make up the sciatic nerve are often involved. The lower back is the area most frequently affected by radiculopathy.

iii.        Thoracic Radiculopathy

Thoracic radiculopathy refers to a compressed nerve root in the thoracic area of the spine, which is your upper back. This is the least common location for radiculopathy. The symptoms often follow a dermatomal distribution, and can cause pain and numbness that wraps around to the front of your body.

Radiculopathy, John Hopkins Medicine, https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/conditions/nervous_system_disorders/acute_radiculopathies_134,11


Retrolisthesis, or backwards slippage of a vertebra, is an uncommon joint dysfunction. A vertebra is a small bony disc that makes the vertebrae, a series of small bones that form the backbone. Each vertebra is separated by a cushion of intervertebral discs, which are made of cartilage. Retrolisthesis occurs when a single vertebra slips and moves back along the intervertebral disc underneath or above it. There are three types of retrolistheses.

 i.        Complete Retrolisthesis

One vertebra moves backwards to both the spinal segments above and below.

ii.        Partial Retrolisthesis

One vertebra moves backwards either to a spinal segment below or above.

iii.        Stairstepped Retrolisthesis

One vertebra moves backwards to the body of a spinal segment located above, but ahead of the one below.

Retrolisthesis: What You Should Know, Health Line, https://www.healthline.com/health/retrolisthesis

Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction

Sacroiliac joint dysfunction is a term used to describe pain in the sacroiliac joint. The sacrum sits at the lower end of the spine, just below the lumbar spine. The sacroiliac joint sits between the sacrum and the iliac bone and is one of the larger joints in the body. Often, an exact cause of the painful sacroiliac joint cannot be found, although injury is thought to be a common cause (such as injury during a motor vehicle accident).

The most common symptom of SI joint dysfunction is sacroiliac joint pain. Patients often experience pain in the lower back or the back of the hips. Pain may also be present in the groin and thighs. In many cases, it can be difficult to determine the exact source of the pain.

Catherine Burt Driver, M.D., Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction (SI Joint Pain), Medicine Net, https://www.medicinenet.com/sacroiliac_joint_pain/article.htm#what_are_the_sacroiliac_si_joints


Sacroiliitis is an inflammation of one or both of your sacroiliac joints – situated where your lower spine and pelvis connect. Sacroiliitis can cause pain in your buttocks or lower back, and can extend down one or both legs.

Sacroiliitis can be difficult to diagnose, because it can be mistaken for other causes of low back pain. It’s been linked to a group of diseases that cause inflammatory arthritis of the spine. Sacroiliitis can be aggravated by prolonged standing, bearing more weight on one leg than the other, stair climbing, running, and taking large strides.

Causes for sacroiliitis include traumatic injury, arthritis, pregnancy, and infection. As with other conditions that cause chronic pain, sacroiliitis can result in depression and insomnia.

Sacroiliitis, Mayo Clinic (Dec. 30, 2017), https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sacroiliitis/symptoms-causes/syc-20350747


Sciatica refers to pain, weakness, numbness, or tingling in the leg. It is caused by injury to or pressure on the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve starts in the lower spine and runs down the back of each leg. This nerve controls the muscles of the back of the knee and lower leg and provides sensation to the back of the thigh, part of the lower leg, and the sole of the foot. In some cases, the pain is severe enough to make a person unable to move.

Sciatica, Mayo Clinic (Aug. 14, 2015), https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sciatica/symptoms-causes/syc-20377435


Scoliosis is a sideways curvature of the spine that occurs most often during the growth spurt just before puberty. While scoliosis can be caused by conditions such as cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy, the cause of most scoliosis is unknown.

Most cases of scoliosis are mild, but some children develop spine deformities that continue to get more severe as they grow. Severe scoliosis can be disabling. An especially severe spinal curve can reduce the amount of space within the chest, making it difficult for the lungs to function properly.

Signs and symptoms of scoliosis may include uneven shoulders, one shoulder blade that appears more prominent than the other, uneven waist, and one hip higher than the other. If a scoliosis curve gets worse, the spine will also rotate or twist, in addition to curving side to side. This causes the ribs on one side of the body to stick out farther than on the other side.

Scoliosis, Mayo Clinic (Dec. 29, 2017), https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/scoliosis/symptoms-causes/syc-20350716

Spinal Hemangiomas

Spinal Hemangiomas are the most common benign spinal neoplasms, often located in the thoracic and lumbar spine, with a peak incidence of occurrence in the fourth to sixth decades.  Symptomatic hemangiomas present with back pain, radicular pain, or spinal cord compression. Acute symptoms occur from compression fracture, epidural extension and sudden mass effect, and hemorrhage.


Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spaces within your spine, which can put pressure on the nerves that travel through the spine. Spinal stenosis occurs most often in the lower back and the neck. Some people with spinal stenosis may not have symptoms. Others may experience pain, tingling, numbness and muscle weakness. Symptoms can worse over time. Spinal stenosis is most commonly caused by wear-and-tear changes in the spine related to osteoarthritis. In severe cases of spinal stenosis, doctors may recommend surgery to create additional space for the spinal cord or nerves.

Most spinal stenosis occurs when something happens to narrow the open space within the spine. Causes of spinal stenosis may include: overgrowth of bone, herniated disks, thickened ligaments, tumors, and spinal injuries.

The types of spinal stenosis are classified according to where on the spine the condition occurs. It’s possible to have more than one type. The two main types of spinal stenosis are:

i.        Cervical Stenosis:

In this condition, the narrowing occurs in the part of the spine in your neck.

ii.        Lumbar Stenosis:

In this condition, the narrowing occurs in the part of the spine in your lower back. It’s the most common form of spinal stenosis.

Spinal Stenosis, Mayo Clinic (Mar. 8, 2018), https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/spinal-stenosis/symptoms-causes/syc-20352961


Spondylosis is a general medical term that is used to describe various forms of spinal degeneration that accompany the natural aging process. In some cases, physicians also use the term more specifically to describe the presence of spinal osteoarthritis or degenerative disc disease. Specifically, spondylosis occurs when the soft tissues in the spinal anatomy naturally deteriorate over time.

In most cases, spondylosis results from the cumulative effects of ongoing wear and tear on the spine. However, there are a number of risk factors that can increase your likelihood to develop spondylosis. These risk factors include obesity, genetic predisposition, a history of traumatic injuries and participation in high-impact sports.

Spondylosis, which can be diagnosed in the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar regions, is often classified by its location:

i.        Ankylosing Spondylosis (AS).

An inflammatory disease that, over time, can cause some of the vertebrae in your spine to fuse. This fusing makes the spine less flexible and can result in a hunched-forward posture. If ribs are affected, it can be difficult to breathe deeply.


ii.        Cervical Spondylosis.

Affects the seven cervical vertebrae (C1-C7) that make up the neck region; deterioration is common in this area, mainly because these vertebrae are highly mobile and support the weight of the head.

iii.        Lumbar Spondylosis.

Affects the five lumbar vertebrae (L1-L5); degeneration is prevalent in this area of the spine because the vertebrae in the lower back support the majority of the body’s weight and facilitate a wide range of motion.

iv.        Thoracic Spondylosis.

Affects the 12 thoracic vertebrae (T1-T12); deterioration in the middle back is relatively uncommon because the spine in this area is connected to and supported by the ribcage.

v.        Multilevel Spondylosis.

Affects the spinal components in more than one region.

Your Guide to Understanding Spondylosis, Laser Spine Institute, https://www.laserspineinstitute.com/back_problems/spondylosis/

Stenosing Tenosynovitis

Stenosing tenosynovitis, also known as trigger finger, is a medical condition in which a finger or thumb seems to be “stuck” in a bent position, until it snaps back suddenly into place. It most frequently occurs in middle age or older women.

Each finger and the thumb have flexor tendons that extend along the inside of the finger, from the base of the palm to the fingertip. These tendons give the fingers power to bend, curl, and grip objects. The tendons are protected and held in place by tendon sheaths, which encase sections of the tendon. When these sheaths become inflamed, they can constrict the space available for the tendon to slide through them. Occasionally a small bump, or nodule, can also form, making the constriction even worse.

Trigger finger has no known cause, but factors that experts suspect may trigger it include repetitive or forceful hand movements, previous injury, or chronic inflammation.

Arush A. Patel, M.D., Trigger Finger (Stenosing Tenosynovitis), Arthritis-Health (updated Mar. 15, 2018)

Temporomandibular Joint Pain Syndrome (TMJ)

The temporomandibular joint acts like a sliding hinge, connecting your jawbone to your skull. You have one joint on each side of your jaw. TMJ disorders – a type of temporomandibular disorder or TMD – can cause pain in your jaw joint and in the muscles that control jaw movement.

The exact cause of a person’s TMJ disorder is often difficult to determine. Your pain may be due to a combination of factors, such as genetics, arthritis, or jaw injury. Some people who have jaw pain also tend to clench or grind their teeth.

In most cases, the pain and discomfort associated with TMJ disorders is temporary and can be relieved with self-managed care or nonsurgical treatments. Surgery is typically a last resort after conservative measures have failed, but some people with TMJ disorders may benefit from surgical treatments.

TMJ Disorders, Mayo Clinic (Aug. 16, 2017), https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/tmj/symptoms-causes/syc-20350941

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