Spinal discs are cushion-like structures containing a soft gel substance and surrounded by a tough fibrous layer. These discs are sandwiched between spinal bones, where they absorb forces and support mobility.
Degenerative disc disease is the process by which these discs can start to wear down and lose their elasticity and water content. When this happens, a disc can weaken and collapse. This causes adjacent spinal bones to move too close together, which may lead to joint inflammation and nerve compression.
The most common reason for this degeneration of spinal discs is the aging process. But old injuries to the spine can also lead to scarring and cumulative damage to the discs, as well. The good news is that degenerative disc disease responds positively to the wide range of non-surgical treatment options we offer at Integrated Pain Solutions.
As mentioned, advancing age is the most significant risk factor for degenerative disc disease. Most people older than 60 have at least some degeneration of their discs, although not everyone will have signs and symptoms. If signs and symptoms of degenerative disc disease do occur, they can include:
In addition to advancing age, people with a history of contact sports or back trauma may be more at risk for degenerative disc disease, and they begin having symptoms in their 30s or 40s.
The exact treatment you’ll need depends on the location, intensity, and duration of your pain. At our clinic, we offer a variety of customized services to help you reduce pain, improve your spinal alignment, and improve your overall quality of life.
In the most advanced cases – cases that don’t respond to conservative treatment – spinal surgery may be indicated, but this should always be considered the last resort.
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