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Degenerative Disc Disease 2017-08-15T17:28:24+00:00

What is degenerative disc disease?

Degenerative disc disease sounds scary, but don’t let the name fool you. In reality, it shouldn’t be called a disease at all. Degenerative disc disease is a general term used to describe pain and other symptoms that come from a spinal disc that is “damaged” because it has started to go through the normal aging process.  It would be a little like calling age-related wrinkling Degenerative Skin Disease!

Spinal discs are the donut-shaped cushions between the bones in your spine (vertebrae), and they act as shock absorbers and help you bend, twist, and flex your back. As the body ages, the discs also start to age, meaning they aren’t quite as thick as they once were, and they don’t provide as much support as they once did.

What You May Be Feeling

Degenerative Disc Disease can cause lower back pain

Back Pain

Degenerative Disc Disease can cause neck pain

Neck Pain

Degenerative Disc Disease can cause stiffness

Stiffness

Symptoms of Degenerative Disc Disease

The primary symptom of degenerative disc disease is pain. A degenerative disc generally starts in the lower back and may spread to the buttocks and thighs. Degenerative disc disease may cause symptoms, such as numbness and/or tingling in the arms and legs; pain that is worse when sitting, or when bending, twisting, or lifting; pain that radiates to the neck, arms, or hands; pain that is worse when standing but better when walking or running; and severe pain that comes and goes over a period of a few days to a few months.

Potential Treatment Options

Disc Replacement

Disc Replacement

Used when the problem disc is in the cervical portion of the spine, the procedure completely replaces the damaged disc with an artificial one, typically providing pain relief.

ACDF

ACDF

Removes the damaged disc in the neck, relieving pain and pressure, while at the same time providing new much needed stability with a reinforced implant.

Lumbar Fusion

Lumbar Fusion

Removes damaged disc from the lower back (lumbar spine), and fuses two vertebrae together with a reinforced implant to create much needed support.

Radio Frequency Ablation

Radio Frequency Ablation

Also known as an RFA, this procedure uses high-energy radio frequency to ablate the trouble nerve, essentially eliminating the source of pain.

Things You Can Do At Home To Relieve Symptoms

  • Exercises designed to strengthen your back

  • Pain medication

  • Plenty of rest, with a gradual return to your normal routine

  • Physical therapy

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