When alterations to the spinal discs that are a natural part of aging result in discomfort, and degenerative disc disease. Everyone’s spinal discs deteriorate with time, and becoming older is a natural aspect. The illness can appear as early as the 30s or 40s and often affects patients who are otherwise healthy. Older persons are most likely to have this disorder. Despite the fact that this condition is regarded as a chronic disease, therapy has a significant impact on symptom control, with the correct care, pain can be reduced and mobility can be improved.
WHAT IS DEGENERATIVE DISC DISEASE?
Your spinal discs deteriorate when you have degenerative disc disease. Rubbery cushions between your vertebrae are called spinal discs (bones in your spinal column). They act as shock absorbers and make it easier for you to bend and twist. The bones may begin to rub against each other as the cushions deteriorate. This touch may result in discomfort and cause other issues, such as :
- Adult scoliosis is a curvature of the spine.
- The disc that has herniated, is also known as a bulged, slid, or ruptured disc.
- Spinal stenosis occurs when the gaps surrounding your spine become smaller.
- The movement of the vertebrae causes spondylolisthesis.
WHAT CAUSES DEGENERATIVE DISC DISEASE?
Spinal disc degeneration is a distinctive aspect of aging. But not everyone feels discomfort.
- Dry out:- The soft core of your discs contains water. That core normally loses some water as you age. As a result, discs become thinner and don’t absorb shock as they once did.
- Tear or crack:- Small cracks or tears in your spinal discs result from minor injuries. They frequently occur close to nerves. Tears can hurt, even if they are small. A herniated disc, also known as an out-of-place disc, can happen if the outer wall of your spinal disc splits, potentially causing compression of a spinal nerve.
WHAT SIGNS INDICATE DEGENERATIVE DISC DISEASE?
Back and neck pain is the two most typical degenerative disc disease symptoms. You might feel the pain that :
- It comes and goes, remaining for several weeks or months.
- Tingling or numbness in your arms or legs.
- Radiates down your lower back and buttocks.
- Worsens with seating, bending, or lifting.
HOW IS DEGENERATIVE DISC ILLNESS IDENTIFIED?
The usual methods for diagnosing degenerative disc disease include a clinical examination and a review of medical history. Patients will be questioned regarding any current or previous medical condition.
A physical examination will follow the clinician’s review of the patient’s medical history. A gentle palpation of the spine will be performed by the doctor to feel for any discomfort, bulging, or other abnormalities. Patients will also have their neck and lower back examined. In order to check for any injury to the bones or nerves close to the spinal column, the doctor may prescribe X-rays or MRI scans after the examination.
WHAT TREATMENT EXIST FOR DEGENERATIVE DISC DISEASE?
- When treating this illness, the doctor may advise using aspirin, ibuprofen, or another anti-inflammatory drug to reduce pain and swelling in the discs as a first course of treatment. If necessary, a prescription-strength dose of these drugs can be given.
- There will be many patients who are referred for a physical therapy program. Through this therapy, patients can learn particular movements that can strengthen their back and neck muscles, enhancing their flexibility and ability to support the spinal column.
- If none of these therapies relieves the pain, steroid injections may be suggested. Steroids concurrently reduce inflammation, edema, and discomfort. These injections can also be administered in a fluid-filled region surrounding the spinal cord.
- Surgical options may be taken into account for degenerative disc disease. These frequently involve procedures that either remove the entire disc or the damaged portion of the disc. A synthetic disc takes the place of the destroyed one. After removing the injured disc, surgeons may decide to fuse the spinal bones together in more severe cases.