Try to picture this....
The weight of the body is borne on your spine: The vertebra are the main weight-bearing structures, but there are bones on the back portio…n of each vertebrae, and these posts meet with the posts of the vertebra above & below and support part of the your weight, and are called facet joints... Your spinal nerves run down the posterior (back) portion in the tunnel caused by the way these bony structures meet. The individual nerves that have to exit the spinal column do so between the vertebra and these posterior posts, then run to the part of the body they affect. When you run your fingers down the middle of someone's back, you will feel structures called the posterior spinous process: these help make up the roof over the spinal cord area. These are connected to the posts.
These facets are actually joints and help support you as you twist, turn, bend, and reach upward. As joints they are subject to arthritis, which is where the body will begin adding extra bone to make these facet-joints stronger, but also larger. As the spinal disks (shock-absorbers between veterbrae) flatten over the years this begins to cause more of a 'bone-on-bone' pressure of the edges of each vertebrae, which in turn, begins causing the body to treat these 'bone-on-bone' areas like arthritis, leading to bone growth at the edges of each vetebrae..
When this happens enough, primarily in the lumbar area, this bony growth of arthritis actually begins to bulge into the spinal cord area, making this smaller, which can begin to press on the spinal cord. If there is osteoporosis involved ( softening of the vertebral bones) the vertebra can collapse (like stepping on a marshmellow), causing even more bone to put pressure on the spinal cord..
If this narrowing of the spinal cord area becomes great enough, the pressure can build up to the point that once it becomes greater than your blood pressure, your spinal cord nerves can begin to malfunction because they are not getting enough blood and oxygen, and you can lose total --or partial-- use of the nerves involved; if operated on early enough, the person recovers completely. If not, permanent damage will be present in various degrees. Thankfully, only 1-3% of people are allowed to get to this point..
How to fix it? The orthopedic --or neurosurgeon-- removes a part of the back part of the involved vertebras, thus releasing the pressure on the spinal cord nerves. This is surgery called a laminectomy. Approximately 20% of people with this problem ever need surgery. (MORE)
The uncovertebral joints are in the neck between C3 - C7. Thesejoints are where the discs meet. Hypertrophy in these joints meansthat an unusually high number of bone spurs ar…e growing there. Themost common cause of this is arthritis. (MORE)
Many patients with back pain, leg pain, or weakness of the lower extremity muscles are diagnosed with a herniated disc. When a disc herniation occurs, the cushion that sits be…tween the spinal vertebra is pushed outside its normal position. A herniated disc would not be a problem if it weren't for the spinal nerves that are very close to the edge of these spinal discs. The spinal disc is a soft cushion that sits between each vertabrae of the spine. This spinal disc becomes more rigid with age. In a young individual, the disc is soft and elastic, but like so many other structures in the body, the disc gradually looses its elasticity and is more vulnerable to injury. In fact, even in individuals as young as 30, MRIs show evidence of disc deterioration in about 30% of people. As the spinal disc becomes less elastic, it can rupture. When the disc ruptures, a portion of the spinal disc pushes outside its normal boundary--this is called a herniated disc. When a herniated disc bulges out from between the vertebrae, the spinal nerves and spinal cord can become pinched. There is normally a little extra space around the spinal cord and spinal nerves, but if enough of the herniated disc is pushed out of place, then these structures may be compressed. When the herniated disc ruptures and pushes out, the nerves may become pinched. A herniated disc may occur suddenly in an event such as a fall or an accident, or may occur gradually with repetitive straining of the spine. Often people who experience a herniated disc already have spinal stenosis, a problem that causes narrowing of the space around the spinal cord and spinal nerves. When a herniated disc occurs, the space for the nerves is further diminished, and irritation of the nerve results. Symptoms Electric Shock Pain Pressure on the nerve can cause abnormal sensations, commonly experienced as electric shock pains. When the compression occurs in the cervical (neck) region, the shocks go down your arms, when the compression is in the lumbar (low back) region, the shocks go down your legs. Tingling & Numbness Patients often have abnormal sensations such as tingling, numbness, or pins and needles. These symptoms may be experienced in the same region as painful electric shock sensations. Muscle Weakness Because of the nerve irritation, signals from the brain may be interrupted causing muscle weakness. Nerve irritation can also be tested by examining reflexes. Bowel or Bladder Problems These symptoms are important because it may be a sign of cauda equina syndrome, a possible condition resulting from a herniated disc. This is a medical emergency, and your should see your doctor immediately if you have problems urinating, having bowel movements, or if you have numbness around your genitals. All of these symptoms are due to the irritation of the nerve from the herniated disc. By interfering with the pathway by which signals are sent from your brain out to your extremities and back to the brain, all of these symptoms can be caused by a herniated disc pressing against the nerves. (MORE)
Uncovertebral spurring is also known as uncovertebral jointosteophytes or bone spurring. This happens when vertebral bodiesfrom the third to the seventh part of the cervical v…ertebrae jointogether. It is caused by the vertebrae wearing down over time. (MORE)
that means you have a bone spur on your vertebra somewhere -- mine are between c5 and c6 for example... prominent with or without disk bulge?...you need to make sure you know …the answer to that... (MORE)
The discs in your back are separated by what are called Facets, one on left. one on the right that are placed up and down (bilatteral. ) Screw it, basically what it means is t…he the "facets" are breaking down and can cause two discs in you back to be touching each other. But if it's mild than try to do some strengthing to your back muscle and maybe that will help the arthropath and hypertrophy to help you back ligamnts and slow down the process of any degenerative facets. (MORE)
Facet hypertrophy is when the spine's facet joints enlarge anddegenerate causing stiffness, discomfort, pain, mobility issues, orhunched back. Unconvertebral hypertrophy is wh…en the unconvertebraljoints in the cervical spine develop osteophytes or bone spurs thatcan cause pain, compression, bone loss, or degeneration of discs. (MORE)
The C3 and C4 are 3rd and 4th cervical vertebra. They touch each other toward the posterior surface at the facets. The term mild hypertrophy means that there is a little more …than normal the amount of bone there. See link below: (MORE)
Ligamentum flavum is placed in the vertebral canal anterior to thespines of vertebrae and laminae of the vertebrae. Thickening ofthis ligament is common cause of spinal stenos…is. Facet on thetransverse process in enlarged in a given patient. (MORE)