Neck, Back and Spine Care

Neck and back problems are common, and often hard to cope with. Whether you’ve got a stiff neck or bulging disc, pain and other symptoms can take a toll on your quality of life.

If your neck or back pain makes it hard to sit, stand or sleep comfortably, or prevents you from working or taking care of your family, it may be time to see a doctor who specializes in spine conditions.

Understanding the Spine

Your spine is made up of 33 small bones called vertebrae. They begin in your neck and run down through your lower back, ending in the area known as your tailbone.

From top to bottom, your spine is divided into several segments:

  • Seven cervical vertebrae make up your neck.
  • Twelve thoracic vertebrae form your upper back.
  • Five lumbar vertebrae make up your lower back. They are the largest vertebrae, supporting much of your body’s weight.
  • Your sacrum consists of five sacral vertebrae that are fused together (they do not move). It is a strong bone located within your pelvis, where your spine meets your hip bones.
  • Your coccyx (tailbone) is comprised of four fused vertebrae. It provides stability while you sit.

Your vertebrae support your head, let you stand and help you maintain balance. They allow you to turn your neck, bend over and rotate your torso from side to side. And they surround and protect your spinal cord, a bundle of nerves that carries signals from your brain to the rest of your body.

Between each of your vertebrae are 23 pieces of tissue called intervertebral discs (spinal discs). These discs cushion your vertebrae and absorb shock. They also make your spine flexible.

If injury or disease harms even one of the many bones, nerves or tissue in your spine, you may have chronic pain and other problems.

Neck, Back and Spine Care at Mercy

Mercy’s physicians understand that neck and back problems can impact almost every aspect of your life. But with proper diagnosis, most can be treated.

Our doctors have helped thousands of patients successfully manage pain and overcome loss of mobility or function. Our areas of expertise include:

If you’re tired of living with neck or back pain, talk to your Mercy physician about your treatment options. We’ll help get your symptoms under control, and put you back in charge of your active, pain-free lifestyle.

Locations Nearby

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