Degenerative Disc Disease
Degenerative Disc Disease is a disease that is defined almost exactly as it sounds. Degenerative Disc Disease causes the breakdown of disc or soft tissue between back vertebrae, which allows for fluid movement of the back and body.
Between each vertebra is a softer tissue in the shape of circular disc that prevent the vertebrae from grinding against each other. The vertebrae in the spine are connected by ligaments and nerves that subsequently encase the disc. Nerve endings at the ligaments surrounding the disc create pain indicators that can alert the body if the discs are compromised.
Degenerative Disc Disease occurs when there is a loss of fluid in discs and can lead to variations of a more severe condition called Spinal Stenosis. Degenerative Disc Disease affects over 3 million people in the United States alone and is an incurable disease defined as the progressive degradation of cartilage between discs in the spinal column.
Though Degenerative Disc Disease does not always create pain in those affected, chronic pain can be one of the major symptoms. Pangs, soreness, loss of range of motion, uncontrollable spasms, weakness or loss of muscle mass are other indicators that you may have Degenerative Disc Disease. Often the bone within the spinal column can spur or splinter bone fragments that press into nerve endings subsequently causing nerve damage.
Degenerative Disc Disease can develop in those with genetic or biological predispositions, after injury or trauma or in conjunction with other spinal conditions. People with higher risk for Degenerative Disc Disease include athletes or people that use repetitive motions as part of their daily regimen, people that are obese or have been obese in the past and people with a family history of Degenerative Disc Disease.
Only a physician can diagnose patients with Degenerative Disc Disease. Treatments for this condition include over the counter medication, narcotics, injections, steroids, chiropractic services, massage therapy, needle therapy, stem cell therapy and other professional medical services. It is important to create a treatment plan with your physician to decide what treatment options are right for you.