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.

While the discomfort of these symptoms may have become your everyday reality, do you really know what is causing the pain, stiffness, numbness and weakness in your arms or legs? Do you feel that you can accurately describe these symptoms to your physician?

Below is some information that can help you understand your degenerative spine symptoms and how you may be able to relieve them.

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 disc cartilage 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.

Common symptoms

Degenerative spine symptoms for any related condition vary from person to person, but may include:

  • Degenerative disc disease —This may cause localized and radiating pain, tingling, numbness and weakness.
  • Degenerative spine 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; you may feel symptoms in neck, shoulders, arms and hands.
  • Degenerative thoracic spine — This affects the middle region of back; you may feel symptoms around the rib cage or lower body.
  • Degenerative lumbar spine — This affects the lower back; you may feel symptoms in feet, buttocks, legs and tailbone.

Treatment options

If you’ve spoken with your physician about your symptoms and have been diagnosed with a degenerative spine disorder, your physician may recommend a nonsurgical treatment routine that may combine mild exercise, hot and cold packs, pain medication and other treatment methods.

If nonsurgical treatments fail to provide relief and your physician has suggested surgery, consider minimally invasive spine surgery performed at Laser Spine Institute. Laser Spine Institute is the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery. We focus on helping you find relief from your degenerative spine symptoms without the highly invasive nature and risks associated with traditional open spine surgery.

Contact us today to find out if you are a candidate for our minimally invasive procedures. We offer a no-cost MRI review* to help you determine your next best steps for treatment.