Degenerative Disc Disease

Spinal discs absorb the shocks and over time break down. But not everybody experiences pain. If run-down discs give you pain, you have degenerative disc disease.

Types of Problems and Causes of Degenerative Disc Disease

There are many problems that may arise from degenerative disc disease. Besides the initial lack of movement and back pain, degenerative discs can impede one from doing the things they love most in life. This could be anything from running to kayaking to walking the dog. Degenerative disc disease is sometimes associated with arthritis and even bone spurs, so the pain surrounding the degeneration is a significant problem for those affected. Disc degeneration can lead to other spinal problems such as:

  • Spinal stenosis - leads to nerve or spinal cord pinching
  • Osteoarthritis in the spine - changes in the joints of the spine due to degeneration
  • Spondylolisthesis - where a vertebra slips forward on another vertebra 
  • Scoliosis - where discs degenerate in lopsided ways causing a curve in the spine

Causes of Degenerative Disc Disease

The causes behind this condition are considered a natural part of aging. To be sure, the condition is variable in its nature and severity. Some people simply get it and some do not. But there are several factors that can be considered to play a role:

  • The daily activities you do, including sports
  • Back injuries stemming from sports, car, etc.
  • The drying out of a disc

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Symptoms

The symptoms of degenerative disc disease are concentrated in the lower back and neck, but can occur anywhere there is degeneration. They include:

  • Mild to severe pain
  • Pain that radiates to the buttocks and thighs, as well as the arms and hands
  • Pain that is worse when sitting, bending, lifting or twisting
  • Pain that is better when changing positions frequently
  • Periods of varying pain, from a few days to a few months
  • Numbness in the extremities
  • Weakness in leg muscles or feet
  • Muscle spasms or tension
  • A feeling that your neck or back cannot support, loss of balance

One can see that there is a wide range of symptoms associated with degenerative disc disease. Despite all these, there are methods of treatment available to those who seek it.

 

Treatment for Degenerated Disc Disease

Diagnosis

Before you can get treated for degenerative disc disease, you must first be diagnosed. If you are coming here with the diagnosis, you are one step ahead! We simply want to inform you of the safest practice. A diagnosis can be obtained from your doctor with a medical history, a physical exam, and some sort of imaging test, which is usually an MRI. From here the treatment options are explored.

Other Treatments

All standard treatments for degenerative discs consist of some measure of exercise or physical therapy in order to increase the strength and flexibility of the muscles around the spine. This increases the already stifled blood flow to the spine as well. Other treatments are:

  • Medication (anti-inflammatory, pain relievers, steroid injections)
  • Spinal fusion
  • Artificial disc replacement
  • Heat and cold therapy
  • Spinal mobilization(s)
  • TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation)

Why the Discseel® Procedure is Best

The Discseel® Procedure is far less invasive, has a much shorter recovery time, and allows patients a greater range of motion than a spinal fusion. The Discseel® Procedure prompts the patient's body to heal itself without the use of metal hardware and doesn't have the risk of long term complications and opiod dependency like a spinal fusion. 

 

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