Degenerative Disc Disease

Degenerative process of the spinal disc.

Degenerative disc disease sneaks up on you gradually getting worse and worse as the years pass, and can lead to often debilitating low back or neck pain and even neurological symptoms.

For many, the pain is unrelenting and unbearable and simply won’t respond to medication and physical therapy alone.

At Cahaba Pain and Spine Care, our Board Certified Pain Physicians, specialize in helping patients suffering from degenerative disk disease find the pain relief they need to get back to enjoying life by using minimally invasive procedure to reduce pain and inflammation and help patients live better.

What Is Degenerative Disc Disease?

Your spine is made up of 33 interlocking bones, or vertebrae, all connected by ligaments. In between each vertebra are your intervertebral discs filled with a soft, gelatinous material that provides cushion from the daily wear and tear your body must endure.

Over time, these discs can begin to degenerate because of two issues. The first is the dehydration of the discs that comes with aging. As the discs shrink and that cushion is lost and wear and tear builds up until the outer covering of the discs becomes weak. When enough of this degeneration occurs, the discs can collapse.

On top of this age-related degeneration, degenerative disc disease can also be due to injuries – either acute or repetitive. These spine injuries lead to inflammation and tears in the discs outer covering.

Once the cushion between your vertebrae that your discs provide is broken down, the bones rub against each other, leading to bone spurs, arthritis, spinal instability, pinched nerves, and more pain. It’s a cycle that feeds on itself.

Symptoms of Degenerative Disc Disease

The main symptom you experience due to degenerative disk disease is neck or low back pain, depending on the location the disk that is damaged. This pain can be sharp or severe, constant, or go away and then flare back up to an excruciating level. You may also find that your pain lessens when you lie down.

If spinal instability has resulted due to your disc degeneration, you could also experience muscle spasms. Pinched nerves from disc degeneration can cause pain that radiates down your arms or legs as well as tingling and numbness.

Treatment for Degenerative Disc Disease

Degenerative disc disease treatment generally begins with physical therapy and medications. However, if these options alone don’t bring you the relief you’re looking for, your specialist at Cahaba Pain and Spine Care may recommend an interventional pain management procedure to target the source of your pain and relive your symptoms.

Treatment options include:

When the pain of degenerative disc disease damages your quality of life and stops you from doing the things you love, consult with the knowledgeable team of Board Certified Pain Physicians at Cahaba Pain and Spine Care. Our team of doctors are experts in pain management and offer advanced procedures to help you find targeted, optimized relief and long-term help to feel your best every day.