Degenerative spine symptoms
Degenerative spine symptoms can take a toll on your daily life. Everyday movements like those involved in cooking, stretching, tying your shoes or gardening can become difficult and painful. By better understanding this condition and the specific symptoms it causes, you can work more closely with your doctor to develop an effective treatment plan if this condition is affecting you.
Degenerative spine causes
Your spine is made up of joints, ligaments, muscles, discs and vertebrae. Both the joints and discs contain cartilage that makes your neck and back movements smooth and comfortable. As you age, this cartilage begins to break down and become brittle, meaning it can no longer sustain the impact of your body’s movements.
The breakdown of the spinal discs is called degenerative disc disease, which causes conditions like herniated or bulging discs among others. The weakening of joint cartilage is called degenerative spine arthritis, or osteoarthritis, which can lead to developing bone spurs. This is the body’s way of protecting itself from the pain caused by arthritic joints rubbing against each other.
If spine degeneration causes the compression of the spinal cord or nerve roots, symptoms may be felt in the arms or legs.
Degenerative spine symptoms for any related condition vary from person to person, but may include:
- Degenerative disc disease. This condition may cause localized and radiating pain, tingling, numbness and weakness.
- Degenerative spine arthritis. With spinal arthritis, you may experience warm throbbing and tenderness, limited range of motion or diminished flexibility.
Degenerative spine symptoms also can vary depending on which region of the spine is affected by nerve compression:
- Degenerative cervical spine. This affects the upper neck and back and potential pain and symptoms in neck, shoulders, arms and hands.
- Degenerative thoracic spine. This affects the middle region of back, often causing symptoms around the rib cage or lower body.
- Degenerative lumbar spine. This condition affects the lower back; you may feel symptoms in the feet, buttocks, legs and tailbone.
If you’ve spoken with your doctor about your symptoms and have been diagnosed with a degenerative spine disorder, your doctor may recommend a nonsurgical treatment routine that may combine mild exercise, hot and cold packs, pain medication and other treatment methods.
If nonsurgical treatments have been unable to provide relief and your doctor has suggested surgery, consider the minimally invasive procedures performed at Laser Spine Institute. We are the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery and we’ve helped thousands of patients find relief since 2005. By using muscle-sparing techniques, our procedures can offer a shorter recovery time and less risk of complication compared to traditional open neck or back surgery.^