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All About The Spine


The spine is the central support of the body. It provides a framework to support the trunk and rigid protection for the spinal cord. Portions of the spine surround the spinal cord providing bony protection for the spinal cord just as the skull protects the brain with a bony shell. The spine is made up of 24 segments called vertebrae.  The skull sits atop the topmost vertebrae.

The abdominal portion of the spine is formed by five lumbar vertebrae, referred to as L1 through L5. These vertebrae are much larger than those of the thoracic spine, which in turn are larger and stronger than the cervical vertebrae. The vertebrae increase in size from top to bottom to accommodate the increasing body weight. Between vertebral bodies are small fibrocartilage cushions called discs. These act, in part, as shock absorbers. Strong ligaments bind the vertebrae together. Although the ligaments will stretch to permit limited movement, they are rigid enough to maintain alignment of the spinal canal as it passes through each vertebrae. The vertebrae, discs, and ligaments are able to maintain the correct alignment and consequently protect the spinal cord against all but the most violent injury.
The L5 vertebrae rests on the sacrum, a large bone made up of several smaller vertebrae-like bones which have fused together. The sacrum forms a base for the spine and the back part of the pelvis. 

Posture too plays an important role in spinal disorders.

Try these tips for a perfect posture...

  • Pull your shoulder blades back slightly toward each other

  • Lift your chest up and out.

  • Pull your head back just enough to keep it in line with your spine.

  • Pull your belly button in toward your spine.


Spinal Conditions

The more you know....the better for your back

  • Back Pain
  • Neck Pain
  • Degenerative Disc Disease
  • Herniated Discs
  • Kyphosis
  • Low Back Pain
  • Osteoporosis
  • Sciatica

At IPMS, our goal is to empower our patients with knowledge of their conditions and available treatment options. Right from the moment you step into ouor office to the time when you leave, our focus is YOU.  We will help you choose which treatment is the best for your condition. Compassionate & Professional Care. That's IPMS.

  • Scoliosis
  • Spinal Stenosis
  • Spondylosis
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Whiplash
  • Coceydynia
  • Radicalitis
  • Protruding Disc


Specialized Procedures

Dr. Gunapooti has been a pioneer in the treatment of spinal conditions using innovative treatments at his state-of-the-art clinic to treat both acute and chronic pain. 


Caudal epidural steroid injection

This procedure is to improve sciatica pain where the cause is thought to be due to a pinched or trapped nerve within the spine. Used for nerve root irritation between L4 and S4.

Injecting through the sacral hiatus is the least complicated way to access the epidural space, and may be performed as a day case without the need for admission. 
The whole idea is to deliver the medication as close to the affected area as possible.


Facet nerve blocks at cervical, thoracic and lumbar areas

A facet nerve block is helpful in identifying if the facet joints are the source of the pain. If the pain is from the facet joints, it may be helpful to relieve the pain.

A mix of local anesthetic and a small quantity of corticosteroid is injected near the facet medial branch nerve.

You may feel numbness, tingling and/or weakness in leg or arm (depending on the site of procedure). These effects usually wear off in 6-8 hours.


Sacroiliac joint injection

Sacroiliac joint injection is a procedure that targets lower back pain and buttock pain.  A steroid medication is injected into the joint.  To ensure proper placement of the medication the procedure is done under fluoroscopy or x-ray.

The Sacroiliac joint is the largest joint of your lower spine in your buttock region.  This becomes painful and inflamed.  The steroid medication can reduce the inflammation and thus alleviating your pain. Sacroiliac injection is useful for patients with lower  back, buttock, groin and/or leg pain


Lumbar discography

Lumbar discography is an injection technique used to evaluate patients with back pain who have not responded to extensive conservative care regimens. The most common use of discography is for surgical planning prior to a lumbar fusion.

Discography is usually done only if you think your pain is significant enough for you to consider more advanced treatment options, directed at the disc itself, such as surgery.


Overall fitness contributes to a strong Spine


Weight Control

Weight control is important to maintaining a healthy back. Additional weight, especially in the stomach, shifts your center of gravity forward and puts additional strain on your back muscles. It is recommended to keep within 10 lbs. of your ideal weight for a healthier back. However, it is possible to be too thin. Extreme thinness can be accompanied by low bone mass, putting you at risk for osteoporosis. The best recommendation is to eat a well-balanced diet in moderate quantities. Extreme changes in diet and frequent fluctuations in weight can cause loss of muscle and bone density in addition to fat. Lost fat and muscle can come back, but bone could be gone forever and put you at greater risk for osteoporosis, which can affect your spine.



Smokers are also more prone to back pain than nonsmokers because nicotine restricts the flow of blood to the discs that cushion your vertebrae and increases the rate of degenerative change. Smokers also have double the risk of an osteoporotic fracture than nonsmokers because cigarette smoking reduces calcium absorption and prevents new bone growth. If you are a smoker, quitting smoking can benefit your health in many different ways and will reduce your risk of future back pain.

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