If you live with lower back pain or chronic neck pain, you may be suffering from degenerative disc disease. Let’s look at how this condition develops, typical symptoms, and when to seek treatment for degenerative disc disease.
Causes Of Degenerative Disc Disease
The neck and the lower back are the most susceptible places for the development of degenerative disc disease. It is because those parts of the spine undergo the most stress and motion. The neck is part of the cervical spine and the lower back is part of the lumbar spine.
Degenerative disc disease develops due to wear and tear on the discs. It is natural, age-related, and progressive. Although it is called a disease, it really is not.
Our spine is in a near constant state of degeneration. The discs act as a shock absorber between the vertebrae in our spine. The soft rubbery discs normally allow for bending and flexing of the back and spine, but with time they begin to deteriorate or break down and no longer give you that protection.
Symptoms Of Degenerative Disc Disease
Some people have no symptoms at all, while others can suffer back or neck pain with numbness and instability. Some have pain that radiates down the leg. Sometimes there is hot shooting pain in the legs and arms. In general, there is chronic low-level pain with intermittent severe episodes of pain.
The pain itself does not come from the disc, but from its effect on other areas of the spine like muscles, joint, or nerve roots.
Many people don’t even notice the pain until their 60s or 70s, or they just get used to it.
When Is It Time To Get Treatment For Degenerative Disc Disease?
Usually when any of these 3 factors are present, it is time to see Spine & Scoliosis Specialists for treatment.
- Back or neck pain that prevents you from carrying out regular activities
- Numbness or weakness in your legs
- Difficulty standing or walking
There are a number of conservative treatments to be employed at first, including medications and therapeutic injections. If the pain is increasing and it has lasted for more than 12 weeks, it may be time for surgical intervention.
Contact Spine & Scoliosis Specialists at 336.333.6306 if you are experiencing symptoms of degenerative disc disease and it is affecting your normal activities.