What is Degenerative Disc Disease?
Degenerative disc disease (DDD) is a spinal condition in which the discs deteriorate as a result of years of wear and tear. The spinal discs serve as “shock absorbers” for the spine, absorbing impact and allowing for fluid motion within the spine. As we age, they become dehydrated and brittle, increasing the possibility of a disc becoming misshapen or developing a tear. If you’re concerned about degenerative disc disease, you may be wondering what symptoms it can cause and how these symptoms may affect your daily life.
At BEST Health System, it is our primary goal to help patients find the most effective, least invasive treatment option. If you are struggling with a spine condition, it is important to remember that treatment is always available. Continue reading to learn more about degenerative disc disease and the associated symptoms and treatment options.
Degenerative Disc Disease Symptoms
Many individuals with DDD are not aware of it since this condition may not cause any symptoms or require treatment. Symptoms often occur if a damaged disc comes in contact with a nearby nerve root or the spinal cord. This may result in:
- Localized pain
- Pain that radiates along the nerve pathway
- Numbness or tingling sensations
- Muscle weakness or cramping
These symptoms may come and go, or be more persistent. Additionally, the location of the damaged disc will determine where you experience the most symptoms. If DDD affects the lumbar spine (lower back), symptoms may occur in the buttocks, legs, and feet. Similarly, degenerative disc disease in the cervical spine (neck area) may cause symptoms in the shoulders, arms, and hands.
Treatment with BEST Health System
How degenerative disc disease affects your daily life will depend on many factors, including the severity of your symptoms and the location of the affected disc. If your symptoms are mild, you may be able to manage them effectively using pain medications, hot/cold compresses, and other conservative treatments.
If you can’t find relief from conservative therapies, you may be a candidate for surgery. Our board-certified surgeons are dedicated to helping patients find the most effective, least invasive treatment option. Contact us today to learn more about surgery with BEST.