What is Degenerative Disc Disease?
Degenerative disc disease is not as much a disease as it is a name for the changes that can happen to the spine as we age.
Our discs are made of a tough, rubbery exterior and a soft interior. They sit between the vertebrae to act as shock absorbers. As we age, or when there is a problem area in the joints of the spine that is not corrected, the spinal discs begin to degenerate. This can cause herniated discs, bulging discs, spinal stenosis, and osteoarthritis.
Degenerative Disc Symptoms
The degeneration of spinal discs may cause no symptoms at first, and symptoms are dependent on each person and the severity of their case.
Pain may occur at the site of the affected disc in the back or neck. As the pain is often caused by compressed nerves, this pain can also travel to other areas of the body like the arms, buttocks, and legs. Numbness and tingling in the arms and legs may also be experienced. Pain can range from mild to severe and debilitating.
Degenerative Disc Causes
As mentioned previously, our spines can degenerate as a natural part of aging. Tears in the tougher outer layer of the disc are common as we grow older. When the discs begin to lose fluid, they become smaller and less flexible.
In addition to aging, other factors may come into play, including: obesity, smoking, repeated physical stress, and injury.
Degenerative Disc Treatment
When disc degeneration causes problems like herniated or bulging discs, spinal stenosis, or osteoarthritis, chiropractic care many times can be a beneficial alternative to surgery. While degenerative disc disease is a natural part of aging, there are things you can do to prevent pain and stay healthy. If you are experiencing frequent back or neck pain, be sure to schedule an appointment with our office. We will perform a detailed examination and create a care plan for you that will allow you to get back to doing the activities you love without pain!