Degenerative Disc Disease Video/Animation
Watch our animation to learn about degenerative disc disease.
Learn More About: Degenerative Disc Disease
Degenerative Disc Disease, or DDD, occurs in many people as part of the normal aging process. It can be related to arthritis of the back. The condition results from changes in the compressible spinal discs, which act as and shock-absorbing cushions between the vertebrae. With age, the discs can lose fluid, making them less flexible and more compressed, or they can develop tiny tears in the tough outer layer, which can cause pain by themselves or allow the jellylike inner layer to bulge, causing pressure on the spinal cord and other spinal nerves.
Symptoms of degenerative disc disease
The most common symptom of DDD is deep aching lower back pain that can radiate to the top of the thighs. Pain in the morning is usually described as stiffness in the lower back. The condition can occur anywhere along the spine, but is most common in the upper (cervical) and lower (lumbar) spinal regions. The resulting neck or lower back pain is usually made worse by certain activities or prolonged sitting and standing. There may be bouts of severe pain, lasting from a few days to several months, before returning to a milder long-term, chronic pain. Many people don’t realize they have disc degeneration because it frequently causes no pain at all.
What causes degenerative disc disease?
The cause of DDD is typically the normal wear and tear that occurs in the discs as a person ages. However, it can occasionally be caused by injury or years of repetitive movement. The affected disc becomes thinner and loses its cushioning ability. These changes affect the way the vertebrae in the spine move and bone spurs can result as well as bulging or disc leakage, all of which can cause pain when they contact the spinal nerves. Smoking, obesity, heavy lifting, and hereditary factors also lead to advanced degeneration.
Degenerative disc disease treatment options
DDD causes lower back pain in most people at some point in their lives. Symptoms usually resolve on their own; occasionally, medications and nonsurgical treatments, such as physical therapy, are needed. Surgery can become an option for people whose symptoms do not improve.
Learn more today
If you're living with degenerative disc disease and searching for relief, reach out to USA Spine Care for help. Our multidisciplinary team has years of experience helping people of all ages and backgrounds develop personalized treatment to achieve lasting relief and a return to a healthy and active lifestyle.
Surgical degenerative disc disease treatments
One of the best ways to limit the severity of DDD is by gaining knowledge of how it develops. With this knowledge, useful predictions can be made concerning activities that accelerate or slow the progression of degenerative disc disease. We suggest you take a few moments to review our page dedicated to the causes of degenerative disc disease .
If you have been diagnosed with degenerative disc disease and are interested in minimally invasive surgical procedures to treat your symptoms, contact USA Spine Care today and ask for a free MRI review* to find out if you are a candidate for our minimally invasive spine surgery. Our muscle-sparing procedures have helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from chronic neck and back pain.
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