Degenerative Changes in the Spine

What Causes Degenerative Changes?

Degenerative changes in the spine happen in different ways and the combination of these occurrences can lead to more serious and painful problems. Everyone will experience some extent of deterioration as they age, with changes accelerating in a person’s 40s or 50s. Whether or not age-related changes have affected you yet, you might still be asking yourself exactly what degenerative changes in the spine are.

Patient education is a critical part of getting you the help you need if you are dealing with neck or back pain. Learning about the specific degenerative changes in the spine through the information in the following article can help you and your doctor develop a treatment plan to return you to the quality of life you’ve been missing.

BEST Health System is an ambulatory center that specializes in spine and orthopaedic conditions. Are you looking for a board-certified surgeon near you? Look no further than the BEST. 

Degenerative Changes in the Spine

Degenerative changes in the spine are typically unable to be prevented, as a result of the natural progression of aging. The elements that support the neck and back naturally wear down from continuous use, causing the spine to lose flexibility and stiffen.

The following are some examples of possible degenerative spinal conditions you may experience:

  • Degenerative disc disease (DDD). This condition is one of the most common degenerative changes in the spine. It is characterized by the breakdown of spinal disc cartilage. Eventually, a disc bulge or rupture can compress a nerve root. The thinning of discs can also cause vertebrae to move closer together and pinched nerve tissue. Factors such as aging, general strain on the body and poor lifestyle choices can contribute to DDD.
  • Osteoarthritis. This is the most frequently diagnosed form of arthritis and is also known as degenerative joint disease. Spinal osteoarthritis usually occurs in the lumbar (lower) region but can also develop in the cervical (upper) and thoracic (middle) regions. As cartilage wears away on the facet joints of the spine, it can lead to pain, inflammation and bone spurs, which are bony growths.
  • Spinal stenosis. This is the narrowing of the spinal canal, which can be caused by a number of factors, including DDD and osteoarthritis. This narrowing can lead to pinched nerves and accompanying symptoms of pain, numbness, tingling and muscle weakness. In the most severe cases, where the upper spinal cord is compressed, the whole body weakens, and paralysis may develop.

BEST Health System 

At BEST Health System Cincinnati, our premier board-certified surgeons focus on finding the easiest treatment route for patients. Dr. Keith Girton is our spine specialist who has performed over 6,000 outpatient surgeries in his 30 years of work. Dr. James Abbott is an orthopaedic surgeon with over 13 years of experience of providing exceptional care. Are you looking for surgeons near you? Look no further than the BEST. We are delighted to offer our neighbors access to excellent surgeons who are dedicated to patient care. 

Surgical intervention may be necessary if conservative efforts for degenerative spine are ineffective. Through the use of modern technology, surgeons are now able to complete these procedures without the need for large incisions. BEST Health System is the industry leader in minimally invasive care. Even compared to other minimally invasive surgical providers, BEST is setting the blueprint. Contact our team to schedule an appointment or learn more about our services. Put an end to your back pain now and for all.