The top echelon of sports surgeons may consist of only Dr. Robert Watkins III and Dr. James Andrews. Dr. Watkins is an orthopedic spine surgeon whose practice is in Marina Del Rey. Watkins repaired Peyton Manningâs neck, Dwight Howardâs back and his clients include many other distinguished athletes. Read more about Dr. Watkins in the LA Daily News, Top 50 Most Powerful in L.A. Sports: No. 27 Robert Watkins, Sports Medicine .
As we age, the intervertebral discs in our spine tend to weaken and lose flexibility. Over time, the cervical spine goes through changes that can lead to pain and other issues. Keep reading to learn more about degenerative disc disease in Los Angeles and what you can do about it:
Degenerative Disc Disease
Everyone experiences some level of degenerative disc disease as they age, but this does not necessarily mean that everyone will have associated pain. The discs in between the vertebrae eventually lose flexibility, elasticity, and the ability to absorb as much shock. The ligaments that surround these discs can also weaken, which makes them more likely to tear. The nucleus pulpous at the center of the disc gets smaller. All of these issues are considered part of degenerative disc disease.
Symptoms of Degenerative Disc Disease
Degenerative disc disease can cause a variety of spinal issues. Many people experience pain in the neck that spreads down, or radiates, into the shoulder blades or the arms. Some people even have numbness or tingling in the extremities. Degenerative disc disease can also affect a personâs hand dexterity or the way that they walk. People who experience muscle weakness are usually at a more serious stage of the disease . Degenerative disc disease can also lead to sciatica and back pain. If you have any of these issues, you should schedule an appointment with a spine doctor who can give you a thorough exam to see if degenerative disc disease is causing your issues.
Treatment for Degenerative Disc Disease
When a doctor treats degenerative disc disease, he or she will focus on three separate areas: pain control, exercise and rehabilitation, and lifestyle modifications. Many people are able to control related pain with non-surgical treatments that help to relieve their discomfort. There are surgical solutions that can help, but they are used as a last resort. The doctor will also work with a patient to determine the best kind of exercise and rehabilitation to use to reduce pain. Doctors might also advise patients to avoid cigarettes and excessive amounts of alcohol, to drink a lot of water, and to incorporate certain types of physical activity into their daily routines.
Runners are at a higher risk of developing sciatica because of the way they run. Pay attention to your feet as you run to see if they are externally or internally rotated. You should make an effort to train yourself to have a slight internal rotation to elongate the muscle that covers the sciatic nerve.
You can also stretch this muscle before you start to run. Lie on your back with your feet slightly apart. Bring your left knee down toward the mat and place the right foot on top of the left knee. Use the foot to press the knee down and stretch the muscle. Check out this video to see the form.
If you are still having pain after stretching, you should schedule an appointment with a spine surgeon serving Los Angeles. The doctor can help you figure out the best way to decrease pain.
Spine surgery near Los Angeles is a serious procedure. Use this guide to learn more about spine surgery and when it is necessary:
When Non-Surgical Treatments Do Not Work
It is typical for spinal surgeons to try a series of non-surgical treatments before deciding to move forward with surgery. Doctors will often try physical therapy and a series of injections to see if they can solve the problem this way. If a patient still has pain and other issues after these conservative treatment options, surgery might be the next step.
When there is a Herniated Disc
If a disc starts to bulge or rupture in the spine, it can put a lot of pressure on the nerves and cause
severe pain in the lower body. Patients who have herniated discs may need surgery to correct the problem and get rid of the pain so they can return to their normal activities.
When there is Too Much Bone
People who have osteoarthritis often have areas of overgrowth of bone along the spine (bone spurs). When there is excess bone, there is not enough space for nerves to move through the normal openings in the spine, which could cause discomfort. A surgeon might opt for surgery as a treatment option for this problem.
When there is a Degenerated or Injured Disc
Some people develop degeneration in one or more discs that lead to major pain. This condition can occur with age or after an injury. If a patient has a degenerated disc, a surgeon will perform a fusion surgery to add more strength to the vertebrae to eliminate this discomfort.
When there is Compression on the Spinal Nerve
This condition, which is called foraminal stenosis, is usually the result of a herniated disc or disc degeneration. When the spinal nerves become compressed, it leads to painful side effects. Surgeons often opt for minimally invasive surgical procedures to correct this issue and alleviate pain and discomfort.
Marina Spine Center is proud to be one of the top centers for spine surgery near Los Angeles . We can claim this title thanks to our impressive staff and their dedication to their patients. Keep reading to learn about Shawn Bond, PA and how he contributes to our spine center:
Shawn Bond is a certified Orthopaedic Spine Physician Assistant and has experience in spinal instrumentation, sports medicine, and general orthopaedics. He earned a degree in Nutrition and Exercise Science from Arizona State University and went on to do his Physician Assistant program at the University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine. He also served as student body president while attending USC.
As an athlete, Shawn understands what it takes to keep a body performing at its best. He works hard to offer all of his patients the dedicated care and attention that they need to find relief for their spinal issues so they feel more like themselves.
- Lumbar Spine Surgery
- Spine Surgery
- Marina Spine Center
- Degenerative Disc Disease
- Back Pain
- Herniated Discs
- Non-Operative Options
- Lower Back Pain
- Cervical Spine Surgery
- Thoracic Back Pain
- Spinal Stenosis
- Minimally Invasive Surgery
- Epidural Injection
- Sports Injuries
- Stress Fractures
- Pinched Nerve
- Spine Fusion
- Microscopic Foraminotomy
- Neck Pain
- Back Injuries
- Spinal Injuries
- Spinal Injections
- Athletic Spinal Injuries
- Conservative Care
- Torn Ligaments