Degenerative Disc Disease

Degenerate Disc Disease – Introduction

Degenerate disc disease is normally a condition caused by aging and unfortunately it can hurt a person’s quality of life. It is important to note that degenerative disc disease is a common symptom of aging and isn’t a actual disease. You’re more likely to suffer from this if you have a resume of heavy lifting over the course of your life or if you have a history of smoking.

Degenerate Disc disease – Diagnosis

Degenerate disc disease is diagnosed by a physician with a overview of your medical history. If no serious injury’s have occurred and there is little to no pain then imaging is not required. Your doctor will recommend image scanning, such as a MRI, if the symptoms present will require more further analysis.

Degenerative Disc Disease- Causes

Degenerative disc disease is caused by tears and loss of fluid in the discs. The loss of fluids causes your discs to get thinner and these can show up easy on a MRI scan. Overtime disc tears will cause the disc to break into fragments which can cause pain if nerves are pinched. Changes in disc can lead to other conditions such as spinal stenosis which is a narrowing of the spinal canal and a herniated, bulging, or ruptured disc. Osteoarthritis can also be caused by the onset of degenerative disc disease. It has also been said that a herniated disc can start the process of getting this condition. For this reason alone, herniated disc recovery is vital if you don’t want to start having more issues with other medical conditions.

thinning discs 287x300 Degenerative Disc Disease

Thinning Discs

Degenerative Disc Disease – Symptoms

This medical issue is known for causing long term chronic pain. Degenerative disc disease symptoms include pain in the thighs, buttocks, neck, radiating pain in the shoulders, arms, and hands. Tingling is also felt in the knees and pain is exacerbated when one excessively sits, bends, lifts, or twists. Unlike actual disc injury’s, the pathological changes of degenerative disc disease show that inflammation is not typical. These discs usually show some type of degenerative clusters of chondrocytes and fibrocartilage. A physician should  be sought immediately if you’re noticing loss of bladder control or bowel movement or progressive neurological defects.

Degenerative Disc Disease – Treatment Options

Treatment options include a combination of chiropractive treatments, physical therapy, anti-inflammation drugs. Usually surgery is considered if there is no change in pain after two to 3 months and quality of life is significantly lowered. Spinal fusion is what is commonly practiced. Other surgery options include

  • Spinal Laminectomy
  • Spinal Decompression
  • Precutaneous Laser Disc-Decompression
  • Percutaneous disc decompression
  • Micro-disectomy
  • Laminotomy
  • Laminoplasty
  • Intervertebral disc arthroplasty
  • Intervertebral disc annuloplasty
  • Foraminotomy
  • Facetectomy
  • Cervical corpectomy
  • Anterior cervical disectomy and fusion
spinal fusion 200x300 Degenerative Disc Disease

Spinal Fusion

New research is mostly in clinical trials. Medicinal scientists and other professionals are looking into glucosamine injections and stem-cell therapy. In Europe its common for discs to be completely replaced.

Degenerative Disc Disease – Conclusion

95% of the time, degenerative disc disease can be dealt with and quality of life can be significantly improved with lifestyle changing habits. Lose weight to put less pressure on the spine and stretch everyday to relieve pain and increase flexibility. Also start a exercise program to strengthen the muscle surrounding the spine so weight can be more evenly distributed. Using a foam roller over your back will also break up old scar tissue and help loosen tight tendons, flexors, and ligaments. Also if you do smoke then it is advised to stop smoking.

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