Degenerative disc disease (DDD) is a condition that affects the spinal discs. These discs are vital for protecting the spine and allowing movement. When they become damaged or diseased, it can cause pain, stiffness, and other back problems.
There are several different types of degenerative disc disease, each with its causes and symptoms. This guide will discuss the different types of degenerative disc disease and how Texas Neuro-Spine Surgery can provide you with suitable treatment options.
What is degenerative disc disease (DDD)?
Degenerative disc disease (DDD) is when the discs between the spine’s vertebrae begin to break down, leading to pain, numbness, and weakness in the arms or legs. Treatment typically involves physical therapy and pain medication. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary.
Discs are made up of a soft, meaty core called nucleus pulposus surrounded by a tough outer layer called the annulus fibrosus. The disc acts as a shock absorber for the spine. With age, the discs begin to break down and lose their ability to absorb shock.
Symptoms of degenerative disc disease (DDD)
DDD symptoms vary depending on where the discs are degenerating in the spine. The most common symptom is lower back pain. Other symptoms may include:
- Neck pain.
- Pain that radiates into the arms or legs.
- Numbness or weakness in the arms or legs.
- Difficulty walking.
Types of Degenerative Disc Disease
Spinal stenosis is a disorder characterized by the constriction of the space surrounding the spinal cord. This can cause pain, numbness, and paralysis in the arms or legs by applying pressure to the spinal cord and nerves. Disc degeneration is often the cause of spinal stenosis.
A herniated disc can cause pain if it presses on a nerve. This can happen because of injury or the natural aging process. Discs act as cushions between the bones (vertebrae) in your spine. The soft center gets harder, and cracks can develop in the outer layer. If one of these cracks opens and the inner part bulges out, it’s called a herniated or bulging disc.
Scoliosis is a condition in which the spine curves to one side. This can cause pain and difficulty moving. Scoliosis can be mild, or it can be severe enough to require surgery. If you have scoliosis, consult your doctor to get the treatment you need.
This condition is characterized by a vertebra slipping forward or backward – out of alignment with the rest of the spine.
How degenerative disc disease is diagnosed and treated
DDD is diagnosed with a physical examination and imaging tests such as X-rays, MRI, or CT scans. Treatment typically begins with conservative measures such as physical therapy, weight loss, and pain medication. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to relieve the nerves or spinal cord pressure.
If you think you may be suffering from DDD, talk to your doctor about treatment options. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent the condition from progressing and causing further problems. Don’t let degenerative disc disease keep you from living a pain-free life.
Don’t let degenerative disc disease keep you from living your life.
At Texas Neuro-Spine Surgery, our experienced surgeons are dedicated to providing you with the best possible treatment for your degenerative disc disease. We offer various surgical and non-surgical options depending on the severity of your condition. Our state-of-the-art facility and the latest technology ensure that you receive the highest quality care possible.
If you are suffering from degenerative disc disease, don’t wait any longer to seek treatment. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our expert surgeons. We will develop a customized treatment plan tailored to your existing medical condition.