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What is a degenerative spinal disc?

If you have a degenerative disc in the spine it can lead to painful symptoms in your neck or back. Breakdown of spinal anatomy, especially the joints and discs, is very common due to age-related changes combined with the high degree of stress the spine endures on a daily basis.

Since damaged discs are located so close to nerve roots and the spinal cord, the disc material may eventually compress nerve tissue, causing pain and potentially limiting your mobility. Degenerative disc conditions in the spine tend to gradually worsen with age.

If you suspect that your symptoms may be caused by a degenerative disc, it is important to see your doctor for diagnosis and to develop a treatment plan that can help you find relief and return to normal activity.

Conservative treatments for a degenerative disc in the spine

A degenerative disc can cause painful symptoms, such as tingling, numbness, inflammation and traveling pain. These symptoms are usually first treated by a nonsurgical course of degenerative spine treatment, which may include:

  • Medication. Over-the-counter or prescription medication, like muscle relaxants, narcotic pain medications, oral steroids, acetaminophen and anti-inflammatories.
  • Mild exercises and physical therapy. Gentle stretches may improve your spine health by maintaining mobility, strength and flexibility. Exercise also may also help build endurance and strengthen surrounding muscles, putting less weight on the spine.
  • Spinal injections. Injections, usually consisting of a corticosteroid and a numbing agent, can help reduce pain and inflammation for a period of weeks to months.

Surgical treatment for a degenerative disc in the spine

It’s important to keep in mind that your degenerative spine treatment will depend on the severity of your condition. If your degenerative disc symptoms have not responded well to nonsurgical treatment, our board-certified+ surgeons at USA Spine Care may be able to help you find relief through minimally invasive spine surgery.

Our minimally invasive decompression and stabilization procedures have helped more than 75,000 people find relief from neck and back pain. Contact us today for more information about our outpatient procedures that can help treat degenerative disc conditions in the spine. We can provide a no-cost MRI review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of these procedures.

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