Degenerative Disc Disease 

Degenerative Disc Disease – An Overview

Spinal discs are fibrocartilaginous joints that lie between two adjacent vertebrates acting as cushions and holding the spine together by acting as ligaments. If these discs due to old age or wear-and-tear become deformed, then the ensuing pain and discomfort are called Degenerative Disc Disease. It is in fact one of the most common causes of back pain among Americans.

 

What causes Degenerative Disc Disease?

This disease usually affects people after 40 due to some amount of degeneration in the spine at that age. However, people in professions like truck driving, gymnastics, and activities continuously impacting the spine can also suffer from this disease. A traumatic injury to the spine might also result in degenerative disc disease.  

 

 
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Symptoms of Degenerative Disc Disease

The region in which the pain arises depends upon the discs that are affected by the degenerative disc disease. The symptoms include:

  • Pain can vary from mild to severe in the back, pelvis region, or legs.

  • Numbness and a tingling sensation.

  • Stiffness and restricted movements.

  • Pain that goes away when lying down or taking a walk.

  • Pain that gets aggravated due to bending or twisting of the back.

  • Weakness is observed in the legs which is a sign of nerves getting pinched.

 

Treatments and Pain Management

To diagnose the Degenerative Disc Disease, the Dunes Pain Clinic physician might do some examination involving the area of pain and enquire about the intensity of pain from you. Some scans like X-Ray, MRI, and CT-Scan might also be done to get a clear picture of the health of the spine and discs. After the diagnosis is complete, the therapy to treat DDD commences. This comprises non-invasive and invasive surgical therapies or a combination of both as mentioned below.

  • Medication: This includes over-the-counter medication like ibuprofen that can reduce pain and swelling. They also act as anti-inflammatory drugs providing the patient relief.

  • Physiotherapy: Exercises and movements that make the spinal muscles strong as well as flexible help in relieving the pain and stiffness in the back.

  • Steroid Injections: Epidural steroid injections are administered directly into the spine in combination with an anesthetic drug to provide immediate and prolonged relief.

In severe cases, you might be referred for surgical procedures to treat DDD.

 

  • Discectomy & Spinal Fusion: In this method, the deformed disc is removed and another bone is inserted into the space left. The bone is held together by bolts and screws – over time the bone gets diffused with other vertebrates.

  • Artificial Disc Replacement: The surgical procedure involves the removal of the damaged disc which is replaced by another artificially constructed disc that mimics the original disc operation.

Call Dunes Pain Clinic for getting the best treatment!