So you can get nerve impingements from discs. You can get nerve irritation from the chemicals in the disc. You can have the bony structures start to get arthritic over time. And just like knuckles in an arthritic hand may get large, so to the joints in the spine can become large. And when they become large, it may crowd the nerves leaving them less room and actually leading to conditions that the public calls a pinched nerve, we call it stenosis or narrowing around the nerve. All of these conditions can cause pain and there's more, there's others, there's infections, thank God, relatively rare. All kinds of things that can upset the delicate balance of what's really an engineering marvel is the way our spines are put together to support our body and be a weigh station for the nerves from the brain to all parts of the body.

Doctor Profile

Steven H. Richeimer, MD

Pain Medicine

  • Triple Board Certification in the fields of pain management, anesthesiology, and psychiatry
  • Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology and Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California (USC)
  • Chief, Division of Pain Medicine at USC and Director of the Norris Cancer Hospital Pain Management

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