Degenerative and Inflammatory Conditions

Degenerative back discs, degenerative neck disease, and other spine conditions occur as the body ages and the bones and tissues in the spine break down. These degenerative and inflammatory conditions can cause intense pain that prevents you from living an active lifestyle.

Doctors at UT Southwestern Medical Center offer advanced diagnostic screenings and treatments to uncover the cause of your back pain and create a treatment plan suited to your needs.

We treat a wide range of inflammatory and degenerative back, neck, and spine conditions, including:

  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Bone spurs
  • Osteoporosis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sciatica
  • Spinal cord compression
  • Spinal instability
  • Spinal stenosis

Why Choose UT Southwestern?

Doctors at UT Southwestern are experts at diagnosing and treating degenerative and inflammatory conditions of the back, neck, and spine. We offer the latest treatment offerings, on par with the leading spine centers in the nation.

Our doctors are active researchers, creating and testing new treatment options that benefit our patients.


Symptoms of degenerative or inflammatory back, neck, and spine conditions include:

  • Back pain that worsens with movement, sitting, standing
  • Back pain that comes in waves, giving you good and bad days of pain
  • Pain that radiates from your lower back to your buttock and down your leg

When pain interferes with your daily activities, makes it hard for you to control your bodily functions, or won’t respond to medication, you should see a doctor.


Getting an accurate diagnosis is key to receiving proper treatment for back and neck pain. Our doctors take time to talk with each patient about his or her symptoms and medical history and then conduct a physical exam in which wel examine the back or neck and look for limitation or pain associated with movement.

For degenerative and inflammatory conditions, additional diagnostic tests are almost always required to get an accurate view of the affected bones, cartilage, and muscle. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is used to view soft tissues, often revealing herniated disks or infection. To view changes or breaks in the bone, your doctor may order an X-ray, computed tomography (CT) scan, or bone scan. If we suspect osteoporosis, we may order a bone density test.         


We offer treatment plans based on the severity and location of your condition. While nonsurgical treatments and lifestyle changes can often reduce the pain associated with these degenerative and inflammatory conditions, we also offer cutting-edge surgical care when appropriate.

Medical Management of Pain

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications can effectively reduce inflammation and relieve pain associated with a variety of spine conditions. If your bones are degenerating due to osteoporosis, we can prescribe medication to either slow bone loss or try to increase the rate of bone formation.


Our doctors offer epidural steroid injections, cortisone injections, and nerve root blocks to help control the pain associated with these conditions.

Spinal Fusion Surgery

Spinal fusion surgery is used to treat degenerative disk disease in the back or neck, spondylolisthesis, spinal stenosis, and scoliosis. In spinal fusion surgery, the vertebrae are fused to reduce movement and alleviate pain. 

Artificial Disc Replacement (Disc Arthroplasty)

When spinal discs have degenerated beyond repair, our surgeons offer artificial disc replacement to replace the cushioning between vertebrae with an artificial disc implant that allows for more flexibility or movement of the back. At UT Southwestern, we offer this procedure as a minimally invasive surgery.

Following surgery, we offer physical therapy and rehabilitation services to help restore mobility and function to your back.

Request an Appointment

To schedule an appointment with a sports medicine specialist at UT Southwestern or to learn more about our services, please fill out the Appointment Request form or call 214-645-8300.

Doctors Specializing in Degenerative and Inflammatory Conditions

Enriquez, Renee

Enriquez, Renee

  • Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Specialist