What is an Annual Tear?
An annual tear is described as any kind of hole, rip or tear in the exterior part of the intervertebral disk, formally known as the annulus fibrosus. The intervertebral disk acts as a buffer or cushion within the vertebrae. When too much pressure or stress is put on the disc, it can result in an annual tear. The intervertebral disk is what supports the structure of the back and neck, so tears can occur from everyday activities like standing and sitting.
There are different types of tears as well, depending on where the injury occurs.
- Peripheral tears happen in the outer layers
- Concentric tears happen in the center
- Radial tears happen in the inner
Both peripheral and concentric tears happen through injury, and radial tears are known to happen naturally with aging.
Annual Tear Causes:
Generally, injuries and common over-strain of daily activities can cause an annual tear. Though it is often said that aging is the biggest inclination of a tear, sudden injury can cause this to happen at any age. Researchers have also found that these tears are often caused by being overweight. The spine is support for the entire body, so someone who is overweight is automatically putting extra pressure and stress onto their spine.
Annual Tear Treatment:
The good news is that annual tears will almost always heal on their own and do not need surgery. A doctor can perform a CT scan to see where the tear has occurred and how big it is. Annual tears can be treated with general pain killers (Tylenol, Advil) and different cold compressors. The best thing you can do is avoid a tear at all, by staying active and exercising to improve the flexibility in your spine.
In severe cases, doctors might suggest an injection to reduce extreme pain and inflammation resulting from a tear. Massages, spinal realignment and therapy are also available to treat annual tears but are rarely ever needed.
Looking for treatment for your annual tear? West Medical is happy to help! For more information regarding annual tears, call West Medical at (855) 690-0565 and one of our staff members will be happy to help you.
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