What is discogenic disease?

Discogenic disease is an age-related condition that describes deterioration of the spinal discs — also commonly called degenerative disc disease. Because these discs support so much weight and pressure, while also allowing the spine to bend and flex, everyday movement combined with the natural aging process can cause these discs to alter their shape. Pain and other symptoms can result from misshapen discs putting pressure on spinal nerves. Read on to learn more about discogenic disease causes and symptoms as well as the treatment options available to alleviate your chronic pain.

Causes and symptoms of discogenic disease

Discogenic disease happens primarily because the spinal discs commonly degenerate. There a number of contributing factors, including declining blood flow, gaining body mass while losing core strength and normal strain from everyday activities. Smoking, alcohol consumption, injury and repetitive motion can also play a role in discogenic disease.

This condition happens to everyone to some degree or another as you get older, but it only becomes painful when a damaged disc, including conditions like bulging or herniated discs, puts pressure on the surrounding nerves. When this happens, patients commonly experience symptoms including:

  • Local irritation
  • Burning or radiating pain into the extremities
  • Tingling and numbness
  • Muscle weakness that can affect mobility and fine motor skills

Patients usually consult with a doctor and receive a discogenic disease diagnosis when these symptoms don’t subside after a week or two.

Treatments for discogenic disease

While it isn’t a curable condition, there are certain treatments that can provide meaningful relief for your discogenic disease symptoms. Conservative treatments like rest, hot and cold therapy, physical therapy and chiropractic manipulation are typically prescribed by doctors and allow many patients to return back to normal activity. Surgery is generally not considered until weeks or months of attempted pain management does not improve symptoms.

If you’re considering surgery but are concerned about the risks and difficulties that go with traditional open spine surgery, contact Laser Spine Institute today. Our muscle sparing procedures are a safer and effective alternative to traditional procedures, offering our patients an outpatient experience with no lengthy recovery^ and less scarring.

At our state-of-the-art facilities, patients are able to be up and walking within hours of surgery.^ We pride ourselves on our commitment to individualized patient care and have helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from their chronic neck and back conditions since 2005.

Reach out to our dedicated team today for your no-cost MRI review* to determine if you may be a candidate for our minimally invasive spine surgery.