In this article, you will learn the symptoms and treatment options for Degenerative Disc Disease. This condition has many potential complications, including bone spurs, arthritis, and spinal stenosis. Luckily, there are many treatment options, including nonsurgical methods. Although these options may not be ideal for every patient, they are a good option if you are suffering from pain and discomfort. However, they are not without risk, and can lead to further nerve damage if not treated properly.
Treatment options for degenerative disc disease
Although there are several conservative treatments for degenerative disc disease, the main options for patients with severe symptoms include surgery. Disc replacement surgery is a surgical procedure that replaces a damaged disc with an artificial one. The artificial disc mimics the natural disc, which serves as a shock-absorbing mechanism for the vertebrae. ADR is an excellent option because it preserves the flexibility of the cervical joints, and it avoids the complications of bone grafting. ADR also lowers the risk of wearing out adjacent spinal levels.
Diagnostic tests can help determine the presence of degenerative disc disease. X-rays can reveal narrowed spinal channels, bone spurs, and other signs of osteoarthritis. Your doctor may also order flexion-extension X-rays to determine the stability of your spine and its range of motion. In addition, a computerized tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan may be ordered to visualize the degenerative discs. Other tests, such as a discography, may show a bulging disc or another issue that has developed over time.
Disc replacement surgery can restore disc height and reduce the pain. Another treatment option for disc replacement surgery is the Discseel(r) Procedure, a procedure in which radiofrequency currents are administered to the facet joints. This treatment may last for years, but there is no guarantee it will permanently cure your degenerative disc disease. However, it is important to note that surgery is an extremely rare option for many people. Many degenerative disc patients are older and have compromised spinal structures. Nevertheless, minimally invasive spinal surgeries are becoming increasingly popular.
Early diagnosis of degenerative disc disease can be difficult. Certain inherited conditions can trigger the onset of this condition, while other traumatic incidents can also contribute to the disease. Treatment options for degenerative disc disease vary, depending on the severity of your condition. However, the best course of action is to consult with a physician and follow up with the treatment recommended. It is important to note that degenerative disc disease is a progressive condition and can affect individuals of all ages.
Causes of degenerative disc disease
Disc degeneration is a common process of aging. Not every person will develop symptoms. Symptoms tend to emerge when the spinal cord becomes pinched or muscles are overly tight. Degenerative discs can also contribute to osteoarthritis in the spine and can cause spondylolisthesis, a condition in which the vertebrae slip forward on one another. Discs can also become lopsided as they age and degenerate, a condition known as scoliosis.
The most common symptom of degenerative disc disease is low-grade, persistent pain around the degenerating disc. These symptoms may be related to recent activity or abnormal stress to the spine. Sometimes, symptoms arise suddenly with no apparent cause. They can last anywhere from a few days to several weeks. Pain may also radiate from the area where the disc is deteriorating. When symptoms are severe, movement may be difficult or impossible.
The pain can be disabling and may require surgery. A medical history describing current and previous back or neck pain, as well as its location and intensity, should be provided to the physician. The doctor may also ask about dietary and sleep habits. A physical exam may include palpating the spine for abnormalities and performing a range of motion and reflex tests. In extreme cases, surgery may be required. Only in extreme cases is surgery recommended, as nonsurgical treatments are ineffective.
Discs are made up of two parts: the annulus and the nucleus pulposus. The nucleus pulposus is made up of water, which gives the disc its spongy consistency. The nucleus pulposus can absorb a significant amount of spinal stress, but the outer ring of tough ligament material holds the vertebrae together. When this material becomes damaged, small tears form in the outer layer. These tears heal with scar tissue, but it is not as strong as ligament tissue and weakens the annulus over time.
Another condition associated with disc degeneration is abnormal micro-motion instability. This instability results in unnatural motions between vertebrae, which in turn causes irritation and tension in the surrounding muscles, joints, and nerve roots. These symptoms can interfere with your daily activities and impact your overall quality of life. If you’re suffering from degenerative disc disease, consult a doctor to learn about your options. It may be worth consulting a physical therapist to find out what treatment options are available.
While surgical procedures are available to correct spinal degeneration, nonsurgical treatments aim to reduce pain and improve function. These treatments may help you endure flare-ups of pain and remain active while recovering. Nonsurgical treatment options include pain medications, physical therapy, and exercise programs. Pain medications are usually prescribed to control the inflammation, which is the cause of the pain. Heating and cold therapy may help relieve muscle tension and stop painful muscle spasms.
Lifestyle changes can help reduce stress on the damaged disc, which can help the patient recover faster. However, if the pain persists or a person is unable to make lifestyle changes, surgery may be necessary. Surgery can remove a portion of the spinal disk, widen the opening to nerve roots, and connect two vertebrae. In addition to surgeries, patients can try over-the-counter medications and herbal pain creams.
Surgery may be needed to relieve the pressure on nerves and stabilize a degenerated disc. A cervical artificial disc replacement (ADR) procedure involves removing a disc and inserting a cage/interbody fusion between the two vertebrae. This procedure also eliminates the complications associated with bone grafting. The recovery time after an ADR surgery is faster and patients may experience less pain than with a spinal fusion procedure.
The nonsurgical treatment of degenerative discs may also involve injections to strengthen the ligaments and tendons in the spine. This therapy is commonly used to treat other musculoskeletal conditions, but has not been specifically studied for patients with unresolved lower back pain. However, it is worth considering if it is a good option for your pain. In the meantime, consult with your physician for a consultation.
As a result of aging, our bodies tend to become more vulnerable to degenerative disc disease. These deteriorated discs can affect our mobility, strength, and even our posture. Degenerative disc disease affects nearly 30 million adults each year. When discs are damaged, they can cause a range of problems, including difficulty walking, numbness, and a lack of coordination. A physician should be able to determine the most appropriate nonsurgical treatment for your particular case.
Surgery for degenerative disc disease is a common form of back pain management. Often, nonsurgical treatment is insufficient to relieve the pain and mobility associated with degenerative disc disease. Nonsurgical treatments include medications, physical therapy, and rest. However, these methods can’t address the underlying cause of your pain. Surgery is a last resort for patients who don’t respond to nonsurgical treatment. This treatment involves surgery to replace a damaged disc.
Surgical treatments for degenerative disc disease can range from non-invasive care to conventional spine surgery. While these procedures can help manage the pain associated with degenerative disc disease, surgery isn’t a necessary step in the treatment of the condition. Although a spinal surgeon can recommend surgery for degenerative disc disease, they should first explain the risks and benefits of the procedure. Patients should never undergo surgery for degenerative disc disease without consulting with a physician and learning as much as possible about other treatment options.
Non-surgical treatments for degenerative disc disease include physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medications. Combined with physical therapy, these treatments can help relieve the pain and restore normal motion. Surgical procedures for degenerative disc disease involve fusion of two vertebrae. During this procedure, the affected spinal disc is removed from the disc space, and the set-up may involve bone grafts or other instruments for stabilizing the spine. The fusion typically occurs within six months of the surgery.
Surgery for degenerative disc disease is a complex procedure that can address the symptoms and relieve the pain. However, patients with advanced degenerative disc disease may need more than one surgical procedure. In some cases, surgery is the only option. While surgery isn’t always the best option for degenerative disc disease, it can help relieve pain. The recovery period after surgery depends on the underlying cause of the condition. In some cases, surgery may be the best treatment option for the patient.
After the surgery, the spine surgeon will give you specific instructions to follow during the recovery period. To avoid further complications, it is best not to exert pressure on the affected area. If you experience any discomfort or a fever, you should contact your doctor immediately. You may have an infection after surgery. If the condition worsens, your doctor may recommend decompression or fusion. The surgery is usually performed in conjunction with other treatment.