If you have chronic back pain or neck pain, you probably have degenerative disc disease. This degenerative spinal condition is not a disease: it is the normal wear and tear of the aging process of your spine. Unfortunately, as we get older, our intervertebral discs (like cushions between the vertebrae of your spine) lose flexibility, elasticity and the ability to absorb impacts. When this happens, the discs go from a flexible state that allows a fluid movement to a rigid and stiff state that restricts their movements.
People with degenerative disc disease usually have a back pain or persistent neck pain, with occasional flashes of sharp pain when “the back comes off.” The EDD can affect any part of the column. The pain usually occurs in the area where there is the gradual deterioration of a disc. It is one of the most frequent causes of low back pain. It is a syndrome that causes back pain, neck pain, and is considered one of the main causes of back pain. Degenerative lumbar disc disease will occur to all people as a natural part of aging, however, not in all cases will develop symptoms.
The causes are multifactorial;
The outer rings of the disc (fibrous rings) wear out and are not able to effectively absorb tension in the spine, causing movement along the vertebral segment.
The proteins in the intervertebral space cause irritation in the adjacent nerves, both the smallest (those that are inside the intervertebral space) and the larger ones (those that go to the legs).
Is unlikely to occur as a result of a large trauma, it is more common that it is due to a slight injury on the disc that progresses over time.
In general, people manifest mild and permanent pain, although bearable, which can intensify for days. Although the symptoms are variable, the general ones can include:
Severe lacerating pain that is located in the lower back or lower part of the back and that radiates to the hips and legs.
The pain is worse when sitting because the discs bear a greater load than when the person is standing.
Staying a long time as well as leaning forward or picking up an object can aggravate the pain.
The most severe symptoms may include tingling, numbness in the legs, and difficulty walking.
If the nerve root collapses, it can clamp and cause pain in the leg.
Disc degeneration can cause or accelerate the onset of other spinal conditions such as:
Osteoarthritis of the spine
Changes in the facet joints in the back of the spine
A type of degeneration of the spine that causes impingement of a nerve root or spinal cord.
If the facet joints degenerate too much, they become ineffective and cause the forward movement of a vertebral body.
In most cases, degenerative lumbar disc disease can be treated successfully without having to resort to surgical intervention. Drugs to control pain and inflammation, physiotherapy and exercise are part of the treatment.
Back pain may not be just a sign of aging. To get the best treatment, you first need to know the source of the problem. This article will help you understand your back pain and some of its causes. You will see the treatment options you have, and you will find prevention tips that will help you make wisest choices.
Surgical intervention is only considered in those cases in which pain relief has not been obtained with conservative treatment, or when the activity of daily life is severely limited.