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Degenerative Disc Disease

Degenerative disc disease causes changes in the spinal discs creating back pain ranging from moderate to severe pain. This common condition affects approximately 30% of people aged 30 – 50 years old. It is actually not technically a disease, but a progressive ailment developing over time as a result of normal wear and tear to your spine. It is possible to be genetically predisposed to degenerative disc disease or to develop it from a traumatic injury. Going without treatment for degenerative disc disease can cause long-term spinal damage.


The early stages of degenerative disc disease can be unnoticeable as there might not be any signs or symptoms a patient feels. However, as it worsens, a patient can begin to develop symptoms. These symptoms include pain in your legs, feet, and lower back, and muscle spasms/stiffness along damaged portion of the spine. Other symptoms can be presented as pain worsened when standing or sitting for long periods of time, sudden and sharp pain from lifting heavy objects or moving too quickly, pain emanating from the back to the extremities, tingling or numbing in legs or arms which make it hard to move around comfortably, and pain lasting longer than 6 weeks.

In addition to degenerative disc disease being caused by the wear and tear from aging, it can also be caused by obesity, smoking, traumatic injuries, genetics, underlying spinal conditions, and occupations requiring heavy lifting. If you let degenerative disc disease go untreated, the condition may worsen and can cause serious damage to your spine. This can result in herniated discs and bone spurs. There are a few things you can do to reduce the risk of developing degenerative disc disease: maintain a healthy weight and stay active to strengthen bones in the spine, quit smoking if you’re a smoker, and if you have a job requiring heavy lifting, practice safe habits for all that lifting.

Many patients who suffer from a compression fracture can treat it at home on their own. These self-treatments include: resting, icing the back, taking medication, or wearing a back brace.

Those patients who suffer from more severe pain are recommended to have kyphoplasty done. Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive procedure where a small needle with a balloon is inserted into the fractured vertebrae to inflate it back to the original position. The area is filled with cement inside the balloon raising the spine to the correct height. Kyphoplasty is a fairly short procedure that provides pain relief and stability to compression fracture patients.

Are you ready to stop living life in pain?