Are you experiencing chronic or acute pain associated with back problems? Have you been diagnosed with degenerative disc disease and you’re seeking help for a conservative treatment?
At the Hygia Pain institute in Las Cruces, we have well-trained qualified and experienced pain specialists that will diagnose and treat your degenerative disc disease conservatively.
Our experts are always readily available to answer your questions, all you have to do is to put a call or contact us to schedule an appointment.
What is Degenerative Disc Disease?
In actuality, Degenerative disc disease (DDD) always assumed to be a disease is not really a disease. The Condition only gives vivid explanation on the changes that will happen in the spinal discs.
What are Spinal Discs?
The main function of the spinal disc is that they separate the spine from the bony vertebrae. They serve as little shock absorber for the spine.
Over time, the disc degenerate, and this makes the spine less flexible, which means bending and twisting of the back becomes a serious task for patients. Just as assumed, this action will be a painful thing accompanied by other series of symptoms.
In the process of wearing down of the spinal discs, some other challenges may arise, such as herniated discs, osteoarthritis or spinal stenosis.
Our providers use several terms interchangeably to describe spinal disc problems and associated pain. Terms include:
In the process of using this terms interchangeably, patients are often left confused. Nevertheless, the important thing that patients needs to understand is the exactness of the condition diagnosed. The real cause of the back pain and other problems will be revealed through the help of the diagnosis.
Common Symptoms of Degenerative Disc Disease
Back Pain (often described as painful aches)
Back Gives Out
Note that DDD-associated pain doesn’t evolve with age. The pain associated with degenerated discs reduces over time. Under normal circumstances, a patient around age 60 who has a degenerated disc will experience little or no pain.
Pain After Back Surgery
Intermittent pain during certain activities
Pain centered in the lower back, but then radiates to legs and hips
Pain that ranges from minimal to disabling
Continuous lower back pain with a duration of more than six weeks
Pain that seems worse when sitting, standing for long periods of time, bending forward, or lifting objects
Numbness/tingling in the legs or difficulty walking (severe symptoms of DDD)
It is possible that a Degenerative disc disease get worsen over time and present a lot of other problems. Problems such as:
- chronic pain
- lumbar radiculopathy (sciatica)
What Causes Degenerative Disc Disease?
The facet joints (the joints that stack the spine’s vertebrae) amongst many other joints have the tendency to wear and tear over time.
The cartilage of the spine (made of water and protein) changes with age. And this as you might have known will result in a weaker, fragile and thinner cartilage.
The function of the discs and facet joints degenerates with time because they are partly comprised of cartilage.
This entire process often causes DDD. A spinal trauma injury can also lead to DDD.
Treatment and Care Options
To treat DDD effectively, there are just a few different options and they include:
- epidural steroid injection
- physical therapy
- anti-inflammatory medications
- high frequency spinal cord stimulator
- transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) technique
- back injections
- cortisone shots
- specific exercises (i.e. hamstring stretching, stabilization exercises, aerobics)
- surgery (only if conventional, non-invasive treatments are unsuccessful)
Managing and Living with Degenerative Disc Disease
With the appropriate pain management plan, a patient can live healthy with DDD. According to stats, about 90% of patients diagnosed with DDD report that symptoms usually disappear within three months.
Here are some of the actions and activities that can help your daily living.
- Make changes to activities if they are aggravating your pain.
- Make behavioral changes if necessary.
- Engage in a routine exercise on a daily basis, which should include rehabilitation if necessary.
- Find out the best ways to relieve your pain to a level you can tolerate.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Eat a nutritious diet to promote a healthy spine.
What Should You Do Now?
Are you experiencing the symptoms of degenerative disc disease or have been diagnosed recently? We are here to provide you with every necessary help at Hygia Pain Institute.
Please contact us if you have DDD so we can help you to have a healthy and pain free life.