Spinal discs, like most other parts of your body, have an important job to do, but over time they start to become worn down. When functioning properly, the discs will let you move your back and neck as well as flex, bend, and turn other parts of your body; as they accumulate wear and tear, though, you’ll start to notice a number of aches and pains that only grow worse over time. When you notice pain in your back or neck, call us as soon as you can to schedule a consultation with Dr. Rozenberg to determine whether you have a degenerating disc that needs care.
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What Causes Degenerative Disc Disease?
Degenerative disc disease is simply the result of normal changes in your spinal discs. The discs themselves consist of a soft core surrounded by a wall. They are mostly made up of water, which gives them their shape. As they lose water over the years, they become thinner and can’t absorb shocks as well as they used to; they also provide less cushioning for the vertebrae, leading to back pain. There’s also the risk of the outer wall tearing due to the stress of everyday movements; if the damage takes place near a nerve, it can be very painful.
What are the Symptoms?
This condition is usually accompanied by a sharp or persistent pain in your back or neck. The symptoms depend on which disc is damaged, but common warning signs of degenerative disc disease include:
Pain located in the lower back, buttocks, and upper thighs.
Discomfort that comes and goes.
Pain that worsens when you sit down, bend, lift, or twist, but gets better whenever you get up, walk, change positions, or lie down.
A numb, tingling feeling in your arms and legs.
How Can It Be Treated?
Treatment for degenerative disc disease involves stopping the pain while also preventing further damage. Luckily, since it’s a natural occurrence that’s based on aging, initial treatment generally involves conservative, non-surgical techniques for managing pain and building strength in related muscles. For example, using spinal decompression to adjust the position of the vertebrae will take some of the pressure off the discs, giving them a chance to recover from some of the damage they’ve suffered.