Degenerative Disc Disease

Degenerative Disc Disease

Degenerative disc disease (DDD) is a condition that occurs from changes or tears in the compressible spinal discs. These discs act as shock-absorbing cushions between the vertebrae and if they lose fluid, they become less flexible which can lead to neck or back pain.

Causes of Degenerative Disc Disease

Degenerative disc disease is typically caused by degeneration of the spine, but sudden injuries or repetitive movement can sometimes have the same effects. Individuals who are overweight or rarely exercise are more inclined to develop degenerative disc disease at an earlier age.

  • Aging
  • Injury
  • Weight
  • Smoking
  • Heavy-lifting

Types of Degenerative Disc Disorder Pains

Degenerative disc disorder can happen anywhere throughout the back but is most common in the upper (cervical) and lower (lumbar) spinal regions. The resulting neck or back pain can last from a few days to several months depending on the individual’s day-to-day lifestyle, but active individuals are more likely to overcome these symptoms at a faster rate. 

If you are experiencing pain located in different areas of the back, it is recommended that you meet with a healthcare professional if the discomfort persists.

Treatments

Patients that experience extreme back pain for an extended period of time are more likely to have this condition. While degenerative disc disease will typically go away on its own, specialists are available to consult with patients to see if a specific treatment will be effective for them.

  • Physical therapy
  • Steroid injections
  • Medications
  • Surgical treatment
  • Radiofrequency neurotomy

Symptoms and Diagnosis

The most common symptoms of degenerative disc disorder include neck and back pain. Other symptoms include stiffness in the lower back, numbness through the arms or legs, or increased pain while sitting or standing. 

Although degenerative disc disorder is very common with age, individuals who experience extreme pain in the upper or lower back are more likely to be recommended for treatment. After a physical assessment, a medical professional would perform a variety of tests such as x-rays or CT scans to come to a diagnosis.

If you have experienced any of these symptoms or recieved a diagnosis and need treatment, BEST can help. Take the first step towards relief today.

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