Degenerative Disc Disease

What Is Degenerative Disc Disease?

Degenerative disc disease is the term used by our orthopedic spine specialist at Advanced Spine & Orthopedics in Southlake to describe the deteriorating effects of aging on the spine. The discs in the spine are soft and compressible that separate the connecting bones that make up the spine. They allow the spine to flex, bend and twist in a fluid pain-free motion. Over time, these discs can get worn down and lose fluid, collapse or even rupture, resulting in back pain.
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Symptoms of Disc Disease

Symptoms of degenerative disc disease vary greatly from person to person. While some people may experience severe back pain, others may experience slight discomfort. These are usually brought out by certain movements as in reaching out, reaching up, bending over, or twisting around.

Depending on the severity and location of the condition, the pain may also affect your arms, legs and neck. In some cases, individuals may experience a weakening of the leg muscles or other issues that may indicate damage to the nerve root. It is important to have these symptoms checked by our orthopedic spine specialist as they can result in further conditions such as:

Potential Causes of Disc Disease

There are several factors that can lead to the development of degenerative disc disease. Age is a common contributing factor. Wear and tear due to years of sports and other physically demanding activities can also lead to the development of disc disease. The Primary causes of degenerative disk disease are:

Drying of the Spinal Disks

At birth, the spinal disks are composed of a high percentage of water. As the body ages, the disks slowly dry out. This reduces their ability to absorb shock when pressure is placed on them.

Wear and Tear

Sports and other daily physical activities can cause tears to form on the spinal disks. While this also occurs over the years, daily physical activity like sports can accelerate the issue.

Injury to the Spinal Disks

Injury to the spinal disks can lead to a multitude of issues such as instability, swelling, soreness, and lower back pain.
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Degenerative Disc Treatment

While there is no cure for degenerative disc disease, there are a variety of non-surgical and surgical treatment options available. Our orthopedic spine specialist will opt for conservative treatments first. If the condition is causing the spine to be unstable and painful, then surgery may be recommended. The type of back surgery required will be dependent upon the location of the degenerative disc in your spine.

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To schedule a consultation with our orthopedic spine specialist concerning degenerative disc disease, please contact us online or call our Southlake office at 817-310-8783.