What is Degenerative Disc Disease?
Disc disease is a process of degenerative changes that happen at the spine over time.
Discs are located between the vertebrae to act as shock absorbers. As a result of improper spinal structure or function, these discs can weaken and cause herniation or bulging, spinal stenosis, and osteoarthritis.
Degenerative Disc Symptoms
The degeneration of spinal discs may cause little to no symptoms or pain that can be severe and debilitating. Pain may occur in the region of the neck or back where the disc is located or at other areas as a result of the nerves at affected disc levels leading to different parts of the body. Pain can radiate into the arms, buttocks, or legs. Numbness and tingling in the arms and legs may also be experienced.
Degenerative Disc Causes
As mentioned previously, our spines can degenerate as a result of wear and tear over time. Other factors that may come into play include obesity, smoking, repeated physical work, and injury. When the discs begin to lose fluid, they become thinner and less flexible. Tears in the tougher outer layer of the disc are more common as the condition persists without proper attention.
Degenerative Disc Treatment
Pain caused by degeneration is often treated with hot or cold packs or with pain relieving or anti inflammatory medication. When disc degeneration causes problems like herniated or bulging discs, spinal stenosis, or osteoarthritis, other forms of treatment may be beneficial. This may include physical therapy, stretching, and in some cases, surgery. While degenerative disc disease is common, there are things you can do to mitigate pain and slow progression. Chiropractic care and healthy lifestyle can make a big difference. If you are experiencing frequent back or neck pain, be sure to visit our office for an examination so we can create a treatment plan for you.