Degenerative Disc Disease Relief

Degenerative Disc Disease causes pain by eroding the spine’s natural cushions. It can cause a number of conditions, from bulging discs to sciatica.

 

Good news! We are the Degenerative Disc Disease Experts. If you think you have DDD, let’s talk.

 

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What Is Degenerative Disc Disease?

degenerative disc disease

 

 

Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD)

is the gradual degeneration of the discs that serve as cushions between the vertebrae in the spine. Tears, bulges, herniations, and more can result from untreated DDD, and DDD is a leading cause of sciatica.

DDD Basics

Degenerative Disc Disease Symptoms. Pain, numbness, fatigue, spasms, compromised movement
Degenerative Disc Disease Causes. Wear-and-tear, injury
Degenerative Disc Disease Treatments. Decompression, stablization/fusion, injection
Recovery Rate. High

How is DDD Treated?

DDD treatment depends on you – your specific physiology and how advanced your case is. The North American Spine medical team and your physician will thoroughly evaluate your situation and recommend a treatment plan to provide both maximum relief and minimum recovery time. Treatment plants are grouped into three categories:

 

Non-surgical
Decompression
Fusion or Stabilization

 

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Answering a few questions will help us get started on getting you DDD relief.

Symptoms of Degenerative Disc Disease

Degenerative Disc Disease can strike any of the three major sections of the spine. Symptoms pertaining to each section may include:

 

Common symptoms of Degenerative Disc Disease include:

  • Lumbar degenerative disc disease. Problems in the lower back (lumbar) are common because your lumbar spine carries the bulk of your weight and endures a lot of everyday stress and strain. Damage in a lumbar disc can also lead to pain, weakness, numbness, and tingling anywhere from your lower back to your feet. In severe cases, a condition called “foot drop” can occur. This is characterized by the inability to bend one’s foot up. If the DDD causes impingement on the sciatic nerve, sciatica may result.
  • Cervical degenerative disc disease. Cervical DDD (in your neck) is the second most common form. Degeneration symptoms in your cervical spine typically center on chronic pain that flares up significantly from time to time. Symptoms may be present in the neck, head, arms, and hands.
  • Thoracic degenerative disc disease. Symptoms associated with this less-common type of degeneration usually appear in the mid or upper back, at times radiating to the chest or abdomen.

 

Prior to having a surgical procedure to treat your degenerative disc disease, conservative measures such as physical therapy, chiropractic, and steroid injections should be attempted. If these measures do not meaningfully relieve your pain, a North American Spine procedure may be in order.

Causes of Degenerative Disc Disease

Degenerative Disc Disease has several potential causes, although the most common is natural, age-related changes in the cushioning spinal discs.

 

Additional common Degenerative Disc Disease causes include:

  • Age-related wear and tear
  • Back or neck strain due to repetitive physical activity, poor posture, imbalances in the musculature, or heavy lifting
  • Direct physical injuries such as a car accident or fall
  • Genetics, whether or not the symptoms appeared in your parents

Degenerative Disc Disease treatments depend on the severity of the condition and the presence of other spine conditions. If you have tried conservative treatments–such as physical therapy, chiropractic, or steroid injections–and your pain has persisted, contact us today to learn more about our treatment options.

Treatments and Procedures for Degenerative Disc Disease

Treatment and procedure options for Degenerative Disc DIsease range from conservative options like injections to more intensive procedures like spinal fusions.

 

Conservative Options

 

Conservative treatment options include nerve root blocks and steroid injections. These are designed to provide temporary relief (up to one year), and you may elect to have the procedure done multiple times. Other conservative strategies may include the placement of a spinal cord stimulator–or STIM–which is designed not to correct the underlying degeneration, but to lessen the pain the condition causes.

 

Decompression

 

Decompression–including North American Spine’s unique IntelliSpine™ procedure–may be used for cases in which the structural integrity of the vertebrae or spinal cord is not threatened. These procedures concentrate on freeing entrapped nerves, typically be enlarging the space through which nerves pass. Depending on the demands of the procedure and your unique physiology, a special surgical laser may be used.

 

Fusion/Stablization

 

Fusion, also called stabilization, procedures may be used when the stability of the spine or vertebrae are compromised or threatened. In some of these cases, more than one harmful condition may exist. While these procedures are minimally invasive and enjoy a high success rate, some patients may be required to stay overnight for observation.