Degenerative disc disease is not actually a disease but a term which refers to the regular spinal changes that occur with aging. The spinal discs in your spine are soft and compressible which separates that interlocking vertebra of the spine. These soft discs function as shock absorbers in the spine giving it the flexibility of movement.
Degenerative disc can affect the whole spine, but it usually occurs in the spinal discs located in the lower back (lumbar area) and the neck region (cervical area).
The changes in spinal discs can cause pain in back or neck or can lead to:
- Osteoarthritis in which the tissue breakdown occurs that provides protection and cushioning to the joints.
- Herniated disc which results in abnormal disc bulging into the spinal canal.
- Spinal stenosis in which the spinal canal narrows.
It is a typical age-related spinal condition which occurs due to the deterioration or breaks down of one or more discs between the spinal column vertebrae. This can be a result of fluid loss within the discs, which leads to thinning and narrows the space between these discs.
Small cracks may appear in the outer shell of the disc which may cause bulging and trigger the degeneration process. Cigarette smokers, overweight people and those who perform heavy physical exercises (such as weight lifting) are more likely to experience these changes in their spinal discs.
As the space that exists between the vertebrae decreases, the padding in between them also reduces affecting the stability of the spine. The body develops small bony growths known as bone spurs. These spurs can exert the pressure on the spinal cord or nerves which results in pain and affects nerve function.
The degenerative disc condition may not show any symptoms, or it may cause such an excruciating pain that an affected individual may not be able to resume routine activities. It may cause pain in the neck or back, but the intensity varies from person to person. The discomfort from the condition may be mild, moderate, severe or debilitating. This can cause osteoarthritis accompanied by back pain and stiffness. Usually, a patient experiences back pain and weakness that radiates to other areas of the body.
The location of pain generally depends on the position of the affected disc. The disc affected in the cervical region may cause pain in the neck or arm while a disc affected in the lumbar region may cause back, leg or buttock pain. When you make movements such as bending or twisting, this pain may become worse. In some cases, numbing or tingling sensations are experienced in the arm or leg.
Precision Spinal Care offers ultra-modern non-invasive treatments for treating pain and discomfort associated with degenerative disc disease. After careful analysis and X-ray examination, our expert Dr. Packer performs the diagnosis and develops an individually tailored treatment plan based on NUCCA correction. We accurately determine the location of the affected disc perform precise NUCCA adjustment which enables us to manage and handle the pain effectively. It enables you to return to your pain-free life.
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