Degenerative Disc Disease – a common back pain issue
Degenerative disc disease, sometimes known as DDD, is a common cause of lower back pain as well as neck pain. Degenerative disc disease occurs when the discs that act as cushions between vertebrae begin to lose water, and therefore lose their cushioning ability. Under these conditions the discs can no longer absorb the pressure associated with physical exertion. The increased stress on the spinal column can cause nerve pain, which manifests as lower back pain.
Degenerative disc disease can also potentially progress to disc herniation. This is when a disc ruptures and the inside of the disc bulges beyond its protective shell, putting pressure on and possibly compressing nearby nerve roots.
Degenerative disc disease symptoms
• Chronic pain in the neck or lower back
• Pain that worsens with activity
• Tingling in the extremities
• Numbness in the extremities
• Pain radiating into the extremities
• Weakness of the extremities may indicate disc herniation
Degenerative disc disease causes
• The natural wear and tear associated with the aging process
• Injury, in some rare cases
Treatment for degenerative disc disease
Treatment for degenerative disc disease is usually nonsurgical. Treatment programs will generally include pain management, rehabilitative exercise like physical therapy, and lifestyle modifications that increase overall health as well as flexibility and strength.