About degenerative disc disease
Degenerative disc disease, or spondylosis, by definition, is not a disease, but rather a condition involving the gradual degeneration of the spine’s discs. It can manifest anywhere along the spine, but it is most common in the lower back (lumbar spine). For a more detailed explanation of why the lower back is the most commonly affected region, visit Laser Spine Institute’s lumbar degenerative disc disease or spondylosis pages and read the information provided in the following article.
How degenerative disc disease develops
The location of spinal discs allows for complex motions and their actions act as shock absorbers for the many pressures placed on the neck and back every day. With aging, the discs and their protective elasticity degrade. Disc dehydration makes them thinner and weaker and they can no longer perform their full functions. Osteoarthritis can develop with accompanying stiffness and pain in the lower back.
Degeneration of the discs is normal. However, it may cause serious disability when the steady progress of degenerative disc disorder results in the distortion of the disc shape. Deformed discs may compress upon the spinal cord or its nerve roots, leading to varying levels of pain. Usually, the pain starts suddenly and unexpectedly or gradually than progressively worsens.
Treating degenerative disc disease
If you develop neck or back pain, consult your physician. He or she can properly diagnose your condition and recommend treatment. Treatment should begin conservatively and may include pain medication, core strengthening, physical therapy, low-impact exercise and reducing heavy lifting or impact to the spine. To learn what exercises might be beneficial, review our degenerative disc disease exercises page. Before trying any new exercise regimen, it is extremely important to reach out to your physician to avoid further damage to your neck or back.
There may be a situation when you need more than nonsurgical treatments to reclaim your life from neck and back pain. There is another option for pain relief — the minimally invasive spine surgery performed at Laser Spine Institute. With a shorter recovery time and a lower risk of complication^ than treatments like traditional open back surgery, our procedures allow you to find relief from neck and back pain. To learn more about our outpatient surgery and find out how our procedures can help you spend more time doing the things you love, like shopping, working and gardening, contact us.
Laser Spine Institute is the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery and has helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from chronic neck or back pain. Through a small incision and muscle-sparing techniques, our highly skilled surgeons can remove a portion of the damaged disc to relieve the debilitating symptoms associated with this condition. Reach out to our team today for a free MRI review* to find out if you are a potential candidate for our degenerative disc disease surgery. We are here to help guide you through your journey to wellness.