Degenerative disc disease is an age-related spine condition that affects the function of spinal discs resulting in pain. Spinal discs are the spongy cushion-like structures between vertebrae, acting as shock absorbers and providing flexibility for the spine.
As we age, our spinal discs naturally begin to wear down, causing them to lose flexibility and become unable to properly absorb shock. These changes can trigger discomfort and pain, and in some cases, other painful conditions, such as bone spurs and herniated discs.
Although pain from most spine conditions is typically associated with the neck and back, pain associated with degenerative disc disease can also spread to the arms, buttocks, or legs. Pain can range from mild to severe, but in general is worse with movement. There are many causes of degenerative disc disease and depending on the cause it can affect people of all ages.
Other contributing factors can include family history, smoking, poor posture, excess weight, or unattended injury. Patients suffering symptoms that include, pain that gets worse with more movement, pain or numbness that radiates into the extremities and weakness in the limbs, along with one or more of contributing factors previously mentioned should consult Dr. Bruggeman to see if their discomfort could be caused by degenerative disc disease and determine a course of treatment.
If you think you may be experiencing pain associated with degenerative disc disease, discussing your symptoms and receiving diagnosis from Dr. Bruggeman is the best way to plan your path to pain relief. In most cases, conservative pain management measures, such as physical therapy, medications, or injection therapy may offer temporary relief, but if these measures are unable to produce the results you are seeking, surgical options may offer a more long-term solution.
If degenerative disc disease is present along with an underlying condition, such as bone spurs or herniated discs, Dr. Bruggeman may recommend a minimally invasive spine surgery to provide lasting relief.
Take the first step toward a pain-free life. Use our online pain evaluation tool to determine what treatment may be right for you.