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Reasons your genetics may be contributing to your degenerative spine

Degenerative spine is an umbrella term that describes several different conditions that can develop as the result of spinal deterioration. Spinal osteoarthritis, bulging discs, herniated discs, spondylolisthesis, spinal stenosis and sciatica are just some of the more prevalent conditions that can be classified as degenerative. In many cases, these conditions produce relatively mild or unnoticeable symptoms. However, if a condition leads to compression of a nerve root or the spinal cord, more extreme symptoms can include chronic pain, muscle weakness, numbness and tingling. These symptoms can appear near the affected area of the spine as well as radiate to other areas of the body along a nerve pathway.

Who is at risk for a degenerative spinal condition?

The development of a degenerative spine is most often the result of the natural wear and tear the spine endures as we age. The spine is subjected to a great deal of pressure on a daily basis and commonly begins to deteriorate in people over the age of 50. Heavy tobacco use, obesity, poor posture and participating in strenuous activities are some of the lifestyle-related risk factors that can increase your chances of spinal degeneration.

However, there are other factors that can come into play that are out of your control. Studies have shown that genetics may play a part. For example:

  • You are significantly more likely to develop a degenerative spinal condition if an immediate family member suffered from a similar condition.
  • Your predisposition to a degenerative spinal condition is also elevated when a distant relative experienced degeneration.

Nonsurgical and surgical treatment options

The good news for those suffering from painful symptoms of a degenerative spine is that there are a variety of treatments that, when attempted for several weeks or months, could significantly reduce their discomfort and allow them to return to an active lifestyle. These include conservative options, such as pain medications and physical therapy, and alternative treatments, including chiropractic manipulation, acupuncture and massage therapy.

If your degenerative spine symptoms are more severe and haven’t responded to conservative or alternative treatments, you may be a candidate to have minimally invasive decompression or stabilization surgery at USA Spine Care. Our outpatient procedures utilize a less than 1-inch incision and are associated with fewer risks and complications than traditional open spine procedures.^

Contact USA Spine Care today and let us conduct a free MRI review* to determine if one of our procedures could provide you with the relief you are looking for.

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