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A Basic Overview of Degenerative Disc Disease

Last updated 7 years ago

Though many of the specifics about degenerative disc disease are unknown and disagreed upon by practitioners, the basic back pain symptoms and the behavior of the disease are both known. Degenerative disc disease is one of the most common reasons for lower back pain, although people diagnosed with the disease shouldn’t panic—its degeneration won’t debilitate you in the way that many spinal disorders can. Although you should visit a back specialist for diagnosis, here is a basic overview of the disease:

  • Causes

The lumbar disc system in your back is a system that works in between your vertebrae, providing cushion and shock support for the actions that your back has to endure. However, particularly if you play or have ever played sports, then these discs can tear, get twisted, or just be worn down, which is the source of the degeneration and subsequent back pain. There are two parts of a disc: the annulus fibrosus and the nucleus polposus. In very short terms, if the content in the middle of the disc, the nucleus, comes into contact with a nerve or the outer portion of the disc, then the proteins in the nucleus trigger lower back pain.

  • Degeneration

A common concern of patients is that the pain will worsen as they age. However, studies show that the lower back pain should actually decrease with age as the disc stiffens and begins to dehydrate.

  • Treatment

If caught early or if the degeneration is still mild enough, then the lower back pain can be treated with a variety of non-surgical methods. Heat and ice packs or various medications are the simplest methods of relieving the back pain. However, exercise is one of the most effective methods for lessening the lower back pain, especially in conjunction with chiropractic manipulation and epidural steroid injections.

If you are experiencing lower back pain, then contact SpineOne. Call (303) 367-2225 for more information about all of our various treatment options.


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