Understanding Degenerative Disc Disease

Degenerative Disc DiseaseDegenerative disc disease is not really a disease in the true sense of the term. It refers to the normal wear and tear of the spine due to aging. Although people in their 30s and 40s may also suffer from this condition, it is more commonly seen in older people.

Are you above 50 years of age and are you suffering from back pain? With the proper treatment the symptoms can get steadily worse and the pain can intensify. Don’t wait for that to happen. Call Lakeland Spine Center today and our highly skilled medical practitioners will give you the help you need to manage the pain.

Symptoms of degenerative disc disease

The symptoms of the condition may vary slightly depending on the exact location of the degenerative disc.

Back pain is the single most common symptom of this condition. This is because it is the discs of the lumbar spine or lower back region and the cervical spine or the neck that are most susceptible.

The pain may be persistent or intermittent and it can be mild or so severe that it can be unbearable and make movement almost impossible. In most cases, the pain tends to get worse when sitting, lifting, bending or twisting. The pain can last from a few days to several months.

Depending on which disc is affected you may feel lower back pain or pain in the hands, arms, thighs or buttocks. This happens when the nerves that radiate from the spine travel to different parts of the body. If the affected disc presses on one of these radiating nerves, the pain can be felt in another part of the body.

A tingling sensation or numbness in the extremities can also be a symptom of degenerative disc disease and in very cases, there can also be loss of bladder or bowel control.

What causes the symptoms?

The symptoms may develop due to several different reasons. As we age, the amount of water in the vertebral discs gradually decreases. Discs with lower water content are more rigid and they cannot absorb shocks and cushion your movements as efficiently. This lack of cushioning and shock absorption is what causes the painful sensation when there is any impact. Everyday activities also take a toll on the discs and cause them to degenerate as you get older, resulting in pain.

In younger people, degenerative disc disease is generally a result of some type of injury which causes the disc to get inflamed and sore, resulting in pain.

When you have a persistent back ache, it is always a good idea to get it checked with an experienced doctor so that you can get a correct diagnosis and treatment. Never try to treat back pain yourself without first consulting with a doctor.