Example Progression of Treatment Regimens for Lumbar Degenerative Disc Disease – Treatments need to be individualized. However, as a general rule, lumbar degenerative disc disease treatments start with basic pain control and non-invasive treatments and progress, if needed, to more extensive and/or invasive treatments. One example of how treatment approaches may progress over time would be:
Bed rest, or reduced activity, for the first 1 to 2 days after onset of severe pain, combined with anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen, and ice and/or heat therapy Prescription muscle relaxant medications, as needed, for up to 1 week Gentle stretching and aerobic exercise, for at least 3 times a week Physical therapy if after 3 weeks there is no improvement in pain An epidural injection if after 3 to 6 weeks there is little to no improvement in pain Spinal surgery if after 6 to 12 months the pain is severe, ongoing and significantly limits daily activities
Bed rest beyond the first 2 days of sharp, severe pain is not usually advised, because regular movement improves blood circulation and muscle strength and helps the body to heal more quickly than bed rest. See Deciding on Surgery for Degenerative Disc Disease The above is just one example of a typical progression of treatments, and additional therapies or a different type of progression of care is not uncommon based on the patient’s condition and the treating physician’s preferences as well as other variables.
- 0.1 What vitamins are good for degenerative disc disease?
- 0.2 Can you live a normal life with degenerative disc disease?
- 0.3 What should you not do with degenerative disc disease?
- 0.4 Is degenerative disc disease life long?
- 0.5 Is omega-3 good for degenerative disc disease?
- 1 What tea is good for degenerative disc disease?
- 2 How do you sit with disc degeneration?
- 3 What makes degenerative disc disease worse?
- 4 What exercises should you avoid with disc degeneration?
- 5 Can you make degenerative disc disease worse?
- 6 Will MRI show disc degeneration?
- 7 How long does a degenerative disc take to heal?
- 8 What is the long term prognosis for degenerative disc disease?
Can a degenerative disc ever heal?
Does Degenerative Disc Disease Heal on Its Own? – No, degenerative disc disease cannot heal on its own. Many treatments for degenerative disc disease focus on reducing symptoms. Some people experience more severe or longer-lasting symptoms than others.
Some people with degenerative disc disease are able to live most of their lives without back pain, while others may experience back pain due to degenerative disc disease as early as when they are in their 40s. There are a variety of treatments that can help reduce symptoms caused by degenerative disc disease such as: · Medications – Over-the-counter pain relievers and prescription medications can reduce inflammation can help reduce pain.
· Physical therapy – Physical therapy can help make neck and back muscles strong, so they can support the spine better. This reduces the pressure on the discs and can help reduce overall back pain. · Steroid injections – For individuals with severe back pain caused by degenerative disc disease, oral medications may not be enough.
Steroid shots are a viable treatment option for these individuals as it is a stronger, more targeted medication that reduces pain, swelling, and inflammation in the spine. · Surgery – In some cases, surgery may be necessary to treat degenerative disc disease. In cases of severe degeneration, orthopedic surgeons may replace damaged discs with artificial ones that can provide the cushioning the spine needs to move pain-free.
If you suffer from back pain and think you may have degenerative disc disease, talk to an orthopedic physician to get an accurate diagnosis and treatment options best suited for you. Watauga Orthopaedics has expertise in general orthopedic care, sports medicine, physical therapy, and rehabilitation.
Their comprehensive musculoskeletal continuum includes innovative treatments for a plethora of orthopedic conditions. If you have an orthopedic condition like degenerative disc disease, Watauga Orthopaedics would love to help you get effective treatments. Call (423) 282-9011 today to make an appointment.
You can also request an appointment, : Can Degenerative Discs Heal On Their Own? – Watauga Orthopaedics
What vitamins are good for degenerative disc disease?
Vitamin D inhibits oxidative stress of the intervertebral disc. Oxidative stress plays an important role in intervertebral disc degeneration.
Can you live a normal life with degenerative disc disease?
Can You Live a Normal Life With Degenerative Disc Disease? – Can you live a normal life with degenerative disc disease? The answer is yes, even it forces you to be out of work for an extended amount of time. Do not give up. There are many methods of pain relief that you can do at home that can help you live a normal life.
The first thing you can do to help live a normal life with degenerative disc disease to maintain proper and strong posture. When you have strong posture and you refrain or limit the activities you do that could cause neck strain can help reduce the pain caused by degenerative disc disease. Other at home remedies that can help with the pain caused by degenerative disc disease are applying either ice or a heat pad to the area that is causing you pain.
Taking over the counter medication like Tylenol and ibuprofen may be able to help reduce pain. People with degenerative disc disease can try alternative methods of pain relief such as massage therapy and acupuncture. One of the most helpful ways that that you can do to help manage pain that can help you live a normal life with degenerative disc disease is through exercise and physical therapy. The goals of exercise and physical therapy for degenerative disc disease is to help reduce and manage the pain, as well as helping strengthening the muscles in the neck.
Studies have shown that physical therapy helps reduce neck pain and improve the range of motion in your neck caused by degenerative disc disease. So, even if your degenerative disc disease forces you out of work for at least a year, there are still a lot of things you can do to help you live a normal life with degenerative disc disease.
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What is the best natural treatment for degenerative disc disease?
Degenerative disc disease (DDD) is a condition of the spine, in which one or more of the discs between the vertebrae, also known as intervertebral discs, cause neck or back pain. Intervertebral discs are the cushions between the vertebrae; they keep the back pliable and enable the body to bend, twist, and carry weight.
Intervertebral discs are mainly composed of water, and as a person ages, the discs dry out, lose their flexibility, elasticity, and the ability to absorb shock. When this causes pain, it is referred to as degenerative disc disease. DDD is a progressive condition; the main treatment goals are to manage pain and prevent further damage.
In addition to conventional medical treatments and complementary and alternative treatment options for degenerative disc disease, various at-home treatments are also available. A variety of at-home treatments can reduce pain and slow or prevent the progression of degenerative disc disease, including physical activity, good posture, over-the-counter medications, temperature therapy, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), and relaxation techniques. During a degenerative disc disease pain flare, a day or so of bed rest may help take pressure off the back; however, long-term bed rest is no longer advised with any back condition, including degenerative disc disease. Movement is required to keep the back muscles strong and flexible.
- Staying active is an important way to slow the progression of degenerative disc disease.
- Low impact aerobic activity, such as walking, gentle swimming, or water aerobics, produces endorphins (the body’s natural painkiller) and may help with weight control, which can reduce pressure on the spine.
- Light, gentle stretching helps to keep the back flexible.
It is important not to overstretch as that can lead to increased pain. Yoga or Pilates helps to stretch the body and improve core strength. Exercises to avoid include sit-ups and toe touches. Maintaining or achieving proper posture reduces strain on the spine, which decreases pain. It’s important to sit and stand up straight and avoid slouching. Using good body mechanics when lifting objects (lifting with the leg muscles, not the lower back) helps prevent further damage. Over-the-counter medications can help with pain from degenerative disc disease. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, such as naproxen or ibuprofen, are used to treat pain and inflammation, and pain-relievers, such as acetaminophen, are used to treat pain. Topical options, such as lidocaine patches or menthol rubs, are also available. Temperature therapy and TENS The use of a cold compress can help reduce inflammation and pain while the use of a hot compress can help relax tight muscles, ligaments and joints. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) uses electrical impulses to prevent pain signals from reaching the brain. Relaxation techniques, such as guided imagery, hypnosis and visualization, can help alleviate pain, anxiety and depression. Implementing relaxation techniques has the added benefit of eliciting the relaxation response,
What should you not do with degenerative disc disease?
Exercise – Exercise is frequently a more effective nonsurgical treatment than resting for rehabilitating the spine. A physical activity program for degenerative disk disease often includes stretching, strengthening exercises, and low impact aerobic exercises, such as walking.
However, a person should check with their doctor first before starting an exercise program. An older 2014 study explored the benefits of 8 weeks of exercise to strengthen core muscles that stabilize the spine. The participants included 33 people with degenerative disk disease. Analysis of the results indicated that the program was effective in decreasing pain and disability.
Managing degenerative disk disease enables most people to maintain a good quality of life without surgery. Strategies for managing the condition include:
physical therapy exercises to stretch and strengthen core muscles that stabilize the spinemodifying activities that worsen the paincognitive therapymedications
Additionally, experts advise people to stop smoking and maintain a moderate weight. In cases where the above interventions are ineffective, surgery may be an option. Surgical techniques include fusing two disks or replacing a damaged disk. People with degenerative disk disease need to avoid foods that promote inflammation and physical activities involving heavy lifting and twisting.
Is degenerative disc disease life long?
Degenerative Disc Disease is not life threatening, but if left untreated, can lead to debilitating pain, permanent damage, and serious conditions such as spinal osteoarthritis, herniated discs, spinal stenosis and potentially paralysis.
Is omega-3 good for degenerative disc disease?
Discussion – Previous observational studies have suggested an important role of omega-3 in low back pain ( 4 – 6 ). In the present two-sample MR study, we established a putative causal link between plasma omega-3 levels and low back pain in the European population.
Pharmacologic treatments are fundamental for both acute and chronic low back pain ( 21 ). Acetaminophen and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have been shown effective for short-term relief ( 22 – 24 ). Omega-3 fatty acids are known to reduce inflammatory processes with a relatively benign side effect profile ( 4 ).
Thus, omega-3 dietary supplementation has potential protective effects on the progression of spinal disc degeneration by reducing systemic inflammation ( 4 ). Mendelian randomization (MR) study uses genetic variants to determine whether an observational association between a risk factor (e.g., omega-3) and an outcome (e.g., low back pain) is consistent with a putative causal effect ( 25 ).
- This approach retains the benefits of using genetic instruments for putative causal inference, such as avoiding bias due to confounding, while allowing for estimation of the different effects required for mediation analysis ( 26 ).
- Thus, a putative causal link between plasma omega-3 levels and low back pain in the European population is strong because of the advantages of the MR study.
Our MR study has several strengths. First, GWAS datasets for low back pain and omega-3 genetic IVs are from European ancestries. Thus, this removes the influence of population stratification. Second, omega-3 genetic IVs were chosen from several previous papers ( 13 – 15 ).
- Third, we used four different methods to prove independent omega-3 genetic SNPs as the effective IVs.
- Fourth, we used four MR analysis methods including MR-egger, weighted median, IVW, and weighted mode.
- Finally, we used three methods to demonstrate a single SNP effect and showed that omega-3 genetic IVs were robust without obvious bias.
Of course, our MR study also had many limitations. First, we only analyzed one GWAS for low back pain. We need much more GWAS datasets for low back pain to prove our conclusion. Second, we identified a putative causal link between omega-3 and low back pain in European ancestries.
We need to expand our conclusion to other populations. Finally, the mechanisms by which genetically increased plasma omega-3 levels reduce the risk of low back pain in the European population need further be explored. Omega-3 is present in several dietary supplement formulations including fish oil. A 1,000 mg fish oil supplement provides 180 mg EPA and 120 mg DHA.
A previous randomized controlled trial (RCT) demonstrated that after 3 months of supplementation with 15 mL fish oil daily (550 mg EPA; 205 mg DHA), 36 girls aged 18–22 years had a marked reduction in low back pain ( 5 ). Based on this RCT, we recommended 3 g fish oil daily for 3 months to treat low back pain.
How much vitamin D should I take for degenerative disc disease?
How Vitamin D Affects Degenerative Spine Disease It’s no secret that vitamin D is an essential nutrient that has many beneficial biological effects on the body. Vitamin D is necessary for our body to absorb calcium and thus it plays a large role in our bone health. Additionally, vitamin D supports the immune system, muscular health, and fights inflammation.
- Vitamin D deficiency has been found to be highly associated with patients suffering from degenerative spine disease.1 Degenerative spine disease is a condition that is characterized by gradual loss of proper functioning and organization of the spine.
- This usually develops with age but can also result from other conditions such as arthritis, tumors, and infection.
The spine becomes degenerative due to inflammation, oxidative stress, and premature cell death. Vitamin D works on a signaling pathway to reduce inflammation levels and oxidative stress in the intervertebral discs. Additionally, it delays cell aging and reduces cell death within the spine.2 Thus vitamin D can significantly improve degenerative spine disease.
Get some sun Did you know that a majority of our vitamin D is sourced from sunlight? Spending some extra time in the sun during the day is an excellent way to boost your natural vitamin D levels. Nutrition Plenty of foods and drinks are naturally rich in vitamin D including salmon, eggs, and mushrooms. In addition to this, vitamin D is added to certain foods such as milk, orange juice, and cereals. Supplements If you still feel your natural vitamin D levels are not sufficient, supplements are an easy and fast way to boost the recommended daily amount of 600-800 IU.
Vitamin D is one of the most readily available vitamins in one’s day to day life. In addition to this, it is clear that it has beneficial effects on degenerative spine disease so take the right steps to protect your spine today! If you need more tips on how to combat degenerative spine disease, contact Dr.
What tea is good for degenerative disc disease?
Degenerative Disc Disease and the Use of Supplements and Herbs Degenerative disc disease (DDD) is a condition of the spine, in which one or more of the discs between the vertebrae, also known as intervertebral discs, cause neck or back pain. Intervertebral discs are the cushions between the vertebrae; they keep the back pliable and enable the body to bend, twist, and carry weight.
- Intervertebral discs are mainly composed of water, and as a person ages, the discs dry out, lose their flexibility, elasticity, and the ability to absorb shock.
- When this causes pain, it is referred to as degenerative disc disease.
- Supplements either contain dietary proprietary ingredients or medicinal ingredients and are classified into different categories: dietary, herbal or vitamin.
Certain supplements may be beneficial for the treatment of degenerative disk disease. They generally come in tablet, soft gel, liquid or powder form and are taken orally. Types of supplements and herbs that may help with degenerative disc disease symptoms include the following:
White willow bark reduces inflammation and pain and is gentler on the stomach than aspirin. Devil’s claw is a shrub with red flowers and can reduce inflammation. It is available in powder or pill form. Cat’s claw is known to help with infection, inflammation and pain reduction. Chamomile may help relieve insomnia caused by pain associated with degenerative disk disease. Ginger can reduce pain caused by inflammation and is a natural alternative to conventional pain medications. Ginger is available in many forms: fresh, powdered, dried, oil or juice. Turmeric is known to have pain-reducing power and helps reduce inflammation. Turmeric can be found fresh, dried or powdered. Curcumin, known for its antioxidants and anti-inflammatory activities, is an active compound found in turmeric and can aid with pain relief. Kudzu can reduce inflammation by interrupting the body’s inflammatory response. It can be taken in pill or powder form. Lavender has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. It can be used with massage therapy to help relieve neck and back pain. St. John’s wort may ease pain associated with degenerative disk disease. It is available in pill and powder form and can be brewed in tea. St. John’s wort should only be used under the guidance of a physician as it can interact with many medications.
Consulting with a physician or pharmacist before taking any supplement is essential. Serious interactions between supplements and medications can occur. : Degenerative Disc Disease and the Use of Supplements and Herbs
How long does a degenerative disc take to heal?
Degenerative disc disease is relatively common in aging adults, and, as a reassurance, it seldom requires surgery. When medical attention is needed, the majority of patients respond well to non-surgical forms of treatment, and recovery occurs in about six weeks.
How do you sit with disc degeneration?
Step Two of DDD Management: Reduce Lower Back Stress The corollary to undertaking productive activity is stopping destructive activity, and there are many opportunities throughout the day to modify common actions that can hurt a degenerated disc, such as:
Correcting posture and using low back support, Degenerated discs are frequently more painful when an individual is sitting, especially if he or she is slumped forward putting more pressure on the lower back. Sitting upright in an ergonomic chair that provides low back support for the natural curve in the lumbar region can prevent irritating discs. Hanging a small mirror near their desk can allow patients to check posture and remind them to straighten up. See
Changing position often to relieve stress and increase blood flow, Just standing and walking 10 paces every 20 or 30 minutes is enough to prevent low back stiffness from setting in. Lifting heavy objects correctly, This involves holding the object close to the body, engaging the large quadriceps muscles in the thighs and placing the object by pivoting the feet, not twisting the back or torso. Leaning over from the waist should be avoided. Finally, sleeping on a comfortable, supportive mattress can make the difference between waking up refreshed and waking up stiff and sore, There are many mattresses designed to provide support to the natural curves of the back, and patients should choose the type of mattress they feel most comfortable in to help them sleep soundly at night. See
Next Page: Pages: : Step Two of DDD Management: Reduce Lower Back Stress
What lifestyle causes degenerative disc disease?
Excessive weight : Obese people are more likely to have symptoms of degenerative disc disease. Heavy physical work: Labor such as repeated heavy lifting may put excess stress and strain on your discs. A family history of back or spine disorders increases your risk for degenerative disc disease.
Does drinking water help disc degeneration?
Does Drinking Water Help with Degenerative Disc Disease? – It does. Drinking water and keeping properly hydrated in general supports disc health, and the best way to help with degenerative disc disease is through prevention, including drinking water,
What speeds up degenerative disc disease?
Risk factors for degenerative disc disease – Certain factors can increase your risk for developing degenerative disc disease:
Age: Disc degeneration is a natural part of aging, and over time everyone will have some long-term changes in their discs. Back injuries: Injuring your back can make you more prone to degenerative disc disease at a younger age. Physical activity: Long-term participation in strenuous sports or jobs involving physical labor such as heavy lifting and twisting can speed up disc degeneration. Obesity: Carrying excess weight for many years can strain your spine and cause degenerative disc disease sooner than the average.
What makes degenerative disc disease worse?
Risk Factors for Degenerative Disc Disease – Lifestyle factors that affect overall health can have an impact on the spinal discs. Risk factors for degenerative disc disease include:
- Family history of back pain or musculoskeletal disorders
- Excessive strain on the low back caused by sports, frequent heavy lifting, or labor-intensive jobs
- Strain on the lumbar spinal discs due to prolonged sitting and/or poor posture
- Lack of support for the discs due to weak core muscles
- Smoking, or any form of nicotine intake
Disc degeneration is a common part of aging, but not all people develop pain or any remarkable symptoms. Symptoms tend to arise when spinal instability, muscle tension, and possibly nerve root irritation occurs. Dr. Hashim Khan is an anesthesiologist specializing in pain management and spine care. He practices at SpineOne in Lone Tree, CO, and has more than 15 years of experience evaluating, managing, and treating spine disorders with diagnostic and therapeutic injections.
What exercises should you avoid with disc degeneration?
Exercise is a key component of treating degenerative disk disease. Although no specific exercises are unsuitable for everyone, people should avoid any exercise that causes pain or discomfort. It is not possible to list exercises that are suitable or inappropriate for all people with degenerative disk disease,
The best types of exercise will depend on the location of the injured disk, a person’s overall health, and their plan for recovery. Expert guidelines do not include any specific recommendations, but some blogs and message boards offer lists of exercises that people may wish to avoid. It is generally a good idea to stop if an exercise is painful and to refrain from performing high impact activities.
Read on to learn more about exercises to avoid, exercises to try, and more. There is no specific list of exercises that everyone with degenerative disk disease should avoid. Despite this, it is typically advisable to avoid exercises that cause pain, discomfort, or soreness.
- It may also be best to avoid high impact exercises, such as running or jumping on a trampoline, early in the recovery period.
- These exercises place additional stress on the disks.
- Emerging research suggests that even high impact exercises such as running may improve disk health over the long term.
- However, this research indicates that performing daily physical activity can help prevent disk disease, not treat it.
High impact exercise is not advisable for people who already have degenerative disk disease. Despite this, exercise and physical therapy play a key role in recovery. A person should work with a doctor or physical therapist to determine which exercises to try and which to avoid.
avoiding anything that causes physical pain, especially in the back, as this is a sign that the exercise is irritating the affected diskavoiding high impact exercises — which include jumping on a trampoline, jumping rope, step aerobics, and sprinting — immediately after sustaining a disk injury talking with a physical therapist before starting a new exercise routine, as a person may need to build their core strength before being able to exercise safelyavoiding heavy weightlifting unless a healthcare professional says that it is safetalking with a qualified personal trainer or a physical therapist about proper form before doing situps, crunches, or other core exercises
Exercise is one of the most important aspects of treatment for herniated disks and degenerative disk disease. For most people, conservative treatment — which is nonsurgical treatment that includes exercise and physical therapy — provides a positive outcome.
Exercise can help a person regain mobility, and it can also reduce pain and prevent secondary injuries. When a person is in pain, they may move less or in ways that compensate for the injury. This can cause additional stiffness and pain. However, the right exercises can help prevent this. A person should start slowly, gradually building up to longer or more frequent exercise sessions.
Some exercises to try include:
At what age does degenerative disc disease begin?
Make an Appointment – Our team of dedicated access representatives is here to help you make an appointment with the specialists that you need. Degenerative = relating to deterioration over time* Disc = one of the disk-shaped cushions between the bones of the spinal cord Disease = a specific problem with a body or body part * (Note that the word “degenerative” in “degenerative disc disease” doesn’t mean that the pain will keep getting worse over time. The vertebral column (backbone) is made up of 33 vertebrae. These vertebrae are grouped into divisions called the cervical (neck), thoracic (upper back), and lumbar (lower back). Each pair of vertebrae are connected by an intervertebral disc–a fibrous disc with a softer cartilage core.
- In a healthy spine, these intervertebral discs cushion the vertebrae and permit normal flexibility of the spine.
- As people age, however, the discs undergo changes.
- They may dry out, thin, or crack.
- The soft cartilage core may bulge or herniate out through the fibrous outer portion of the disc.
- Degenerative disc disease is an umbrella term that describes these age-related processes.
Most people’s spinal discs degenerate over time. By the age of 35, approximately 30% of people will show evidence of disc degeneration at one or more levels. By the age of 60, more than 90% of people will show evidence of some disc degeneration. Degeneration itself is normal, and does not necessarily cause pain.
Does degenerative disc pain ever go away?
Will DDD go away? – Unfortunately, DDD does not go away. Just like aging, once your discs begin to degenerate, you can’t reverse the process. However, the pain caused by DDD can be treated. DDD pain may flare up for several days or a few weeks. In time, as the disc damage advances, flare-ups may become more frequent, and longer-lasting.
Can you make degenerative disc disease worse?
Overview Degenerative disc disease (DDD) is a condition where one or more discs in the back lose their strength. Degenerative disc disease, despite the name, isn’t technically a disease. It’s a progressive condition that happens over time from wear and tear, or injury.
- The discs in your back are located in between the vertebrae of the spine.
- They act as cushions and shock absorbers.
- Discs help you stand up straight.
- And they also help you move through everyday motions, such as twisting around and bending over.
- Over time, DDD can worsen.
- It can cause mild to extreme pain that may interfere with your everyday activities.
Some of the most common symptoms of DDD include pain that:
primarily affects the lower backmight extend to legs and buttocksextends from neck to armsworsens after twisting or bendingcan be worse from sittingcomes and goes in as little as a few days and up to several months
People with DDD might experience less pain after walking and exercise. DDD can also cause weakened leg muscles, as well as numbness in your arms or legs. DDD is primarily caused by wear and tear of spinal discs. Over time, discs naturally tend to dry out and lose their support and function.
- This can lead to pain and other symptoms of DDD.
- DDD can start developing in your 30s or 40s, and then progressively worsen.
- This condition can also be caused by injury and overuse, which may result from sports or repetitive activities.
- Once a disc is damaged, it can’t repair itself.
- Age is one of the greatest risk factors for DDD.
The discs in between the vertebrae naturally shrink down and lose their cushiony support as you get older. Almost every adult over 60 years of age has some form of disc degeneration. Not all cases cause pain. You may also be at an increased risk of developing DDD if you have a significant back injury.
car accidentsoverweight or obesitya sedentary lifestyle
“Weekend warrior” exercising can also increase your risk. Instead, aim for moderate, daily exercise to help strengthen your back without placing undue stress on the spine and discs. There are also other strengthening exercises for the lower back. An MRI can help detect DDD.
Will MRI show disc degeneration?
MRI Scan – An MRI scan uses magnetic fields and radio waves to create detailed two- and three-dimensional images of the discs as well as the nerves and spinal cord, which pass through the spinal canal. Doctors examine MRI scans for evidence of disc degeneration and to determine if any nerves are pinched between bones.
How long does a degenerative disc take to heal?
Degenerative disc disease is relatively common in aging adults, and, as a reassurance, it seldom requires surgery. When medical attention is needed, the majority of patients respond well to non-surgical forms of treatment, and recovery occurs in about six weeks.
What is the long term prognosis for degenerative disc disease?
What Is Degenerative Disc Disease? – Degenerative disc disease is a condition that affects the discs between the spinal vertebrae. It occurs when one or more of the intervertebral discs begins to deteriorate because of injury or aging, causing loss of flexibility and height to cushion the spine.
It has been reported that up to one-third of people 40-59 have image-based evidence of moderate to severe degenerative disc disease, with the prevalence increasing as we age. Discs begin to dehydrate and wear down as a normal part of the aging process; however, the deterioration is worse for some than for others.
Some people with the condition present few to no symptoms of degenerative disc disease. Others struggle with pain that:
Occurs primarily in the lower back and neck Ranges from mild to completely debilitating Extends to the arms, hands, buttocks, and/or thighs Causes weakness in the arms, legs, and/or feet Worsens after sitting, lifting, twisting, or bending
As discs deteriorate and vertebrae draw closer together, joints begin to rub excessively, which can cause painful bone spurs and nerve damage. Depending on the severity of the condition, these age-related changes can also lead to long-term issues such as arthritis, herniated discs, or spinal stenosis.