Degenerative disc disease is a condition that more and more people are suffering from. It’s a condition that has the ability to affect your quality of life and severely impact your independence and freedom of movement. If left unchecked and untreated, it can cause more pain and irreversible damage in the long term. So, with that in mind, it’s important to know what it is, and what the tell-tale signs are.
What Is Degenerative Disc Disease?
Despite its name, degenerative disc disease isn’t a disease even though it’s not something that you can contract. It’s a condition where the discs that make up your spine degrade. One of the most common causes is the loss of spinal fluid that keeps your discs in check and moving freely within your spinal column. Without it, you wouldn’t be able to move your back, bend, and essentially carry out everyday tasks. 1
What Are The Causes Of Degenerative Disc Disease?
Loss of spinal fluid is a common occurrence with people as they age, as fluid content thins out over time. With thinner fluid, the spinal discs rub up against each other more often, losing the shock absorber quality of the fluid that protects your spine from damage. Think of the fluid as the oil that allows your spine to move, not unlike how engine oil is required to keep engine parts moving smoothly.
Other causes that are often attributed to degenerative disc disease can include obesity, frequent strenuous overwork of the spine, and injuries such as falls where the back bears most of the brunt. This is because cracks can form in the outer wall (think of it as a casing for your spine) where your nerves are located. The discs may push out towards the outer wall, causing nerve damage and allowing the discs to slip. 2
What Are The Symptoms Of Degenerative Disc Disease?
The symptoms of degenerative disc disease can vary, but one thing that all patients have in common is they know they have it. It often starts with pain that is localised in the spine, or weakness when moving. Sometimes the pain can spread outwards, from the lumbar area down to the buttocks and thighs, or from the neck area up to the shoulders and arms. Nerve damage is often another tell-tale sign, as the central nervous system runs up and down the spine and can cause tingling and other unwanted sensations that are a result of the connection between your body and your nerves being affected in the spinal area. 3
If you are experiencing pain only when sitting, moving your back, or lifting objects but it seems to go away when walking or lying down, then this is a common sign that you have degenerative disc disease.
How Do You Treat Degenerative Disc Disease?
Treatment is possible for many patients, varying from physical therapy to strengthen the back muscles to surgery. Surgery is a risky option that comes with its pros and cons. It is an effective solution but it is also one that can damage nerves, cause bone deformity, and degeneration of nearby discs that were previously unaffected. It may even cause your height to be reduced.
Explore Your Options For Degenerative Disc Disease?
At Alternative Disc Therapy, Dr. Warren J Bleiweiss is a pioneer in North America with minimally-invasive regenerative treatments for degenerative disc disease thanks to ozone injection therapy. Ozone therapy works by decreasing the inflammation in the spine, stimulates cell repair, and increases blood flow in the spine. This multi-step process helps improve patient outcomes and regeneration in the long term without the need for surgery.
To learn more about how Dr. Bleweiss can help, please contact our clinic at (973) 721-9622 today.
Written by Renée Eckerd at Alternative Disc Therapy