Degenerative disc disease is a condition that often occurs as the body ages. This condition affects everyone, but it does not always cause pain or noticeable symptoms. Keep reading to learn more about degenerative disc disease and when you should talk to your doctor about spine surgery near Los Angeles :
Why Discs Degenerate
As the body ages, the discs in the spine can start to change. Degenerative disc disease typically affects the lower back and the neck, which could put more pressure onto the spinal cord and the nerves. When it affects these areas, it usually causes severe pain. These changes in the discs might be a result of normal wear and tear, a loss of fluid, or small tears or cracks. People who smoke, work in physically demanding jobs, or spend a lot of their lives overweight are more likely to suffer from painful symptoms of degenerative disc disease.
How Degenerative Disc Disease Affects the Body
Many people who have severe degenerative disc disease have significant pain in the neck that spreads down through the shoulder blades and into the arms. They might also experience numbness or tingling, trouble with hand dexterity, and difficulty walking. If you think you are dealing with these symptoms, the doctor will give you a thorough physical exam through which he or she can look at your flexibility and range of motion to determine if degenerative disc disease is the source of your pain.
How Degenerative Disc Disease is Treated
If your doctor has diagnosed you with this disorder, you can use ice or heat to try to reduce your pain. If you need stronger treatment, you can also take over-the-counter medication or get a prescription from your doctor. Degenerative disc disease could cause other problems like osteoarthritis, a herniated disc, or even spinal stenosis. If you develop any of these conditions, you might need stronger treatments like physical therapy or even spine surgery to alleviate your pain.