24 Jan Degenerative Disc Disease: What Is It and How Is It Treated?
Back pain is one of the vital common conditions we treat here in our Texas pain management clinic. Likewise, degenerative disc disease is a reasonably routine reason for back pain. Yet despite its ominous sounding name, degenerative disc disease isn’t actually a disease in any respect. It’s a particular type of condition that may be very treatable.
Most cases of degenerative disc disease are related to age. Fortunately, only a few cases are fully debilitating. With the precise treatment and a few lifestyle changes, most patients can proceed living full and normal lives. But the bottom line is proper treatment.
An Explanation of the Condition
The human spine consists of a series of bones and joints designed to be sturdy but flexible. Between each of the bones is a disc. The disc provides cushioning between the bones and allows the spine to maneuver. If the spine were one solid piece, like a metal rod for instance, we wouldn’t have the option to maneuver and twist as we do.
In a degenerative disc scenario, among the discs have begun to deteriorate. This ultimately results in less cushioning. It could actually also result in inflammation, muscle tension, tenderness, and lack of spinal stability. All of this could result in pain.
So far as the degenerative nature of the condition, it’s so described since the affected discs can proceed to deteriorate over time. The excellent news is that pain doesn’t are inclined to increase because of this. It is necessary to notice that many degenerative disc disease patients actually experience less pain over the long run. That is believed to be the results of what medical science refers to because the degenerative cascade effect.
The Symptoms of Degenerative Disc Disease
So how can we know that a patient suffers from this particular condition versus something else? We closely examine the patient’s symptoms. Essentially the most common amongst those symptoms is a consistent low-grade pain felt in the final area of the affected disk.
Many patients also experience:
- more pain when lifting, twisting, or bending
- a sensation that the back or neck is ‘giving out’
- radiating pains described as burning, sharp, or stabbing
- muscle tension and sometimes severe muscle spasms
- differing levels of pain based on position and activity.
Note that degenerative disc disease can affect any a part of the spine, from the neck all the way in which right down to the hips. Fortunately, few patients experience the condition along the complete length of the spine. Normally it’s only one or two joints.
How the Condition Is Treated
Many doctors decide to treat degenerative disc disease with over-the-counter pain medications. Prescription painkillers could also be offered when pain is very severe. Doctors also are inclined to recommend heat or cold therapy, steroid injections, and manual manipulation.
Here at Lone Star Pain Medicine, we provide a wide range of effective treatments. Below is a brief list of among the more common treatments we recommend for this particular condition:
- Lumbar sympathetic block
- Medial branch block
- Radiofrequency neurotomy
- Discoscopic discectomy
- Laser discoplasty
- Spinal cord stimulation.
Whether or not any of those treatments can be best for you would depend heavily in your current health and the progression of your condition. Before we are able to recommend any particular treatment, we would want to do a full evaluation.
Degenerative disc disease is a reasonably common condition. Should you think your back pain could be related to it, we invite you to make an appointment to visit our clinic. Our doctors are experts in pain management. They will assist you to work out what’s happening and offer the most effective treatment options.