Back Pain and Degenerative Disc Disease

What is it?

Degenerative disc disease is when there is wear and tear on the spinal discs and as that continues pain will be more difficult to manage. At Georgia Pain and Spine Care, we see many patients with just this at both our LaGrange and Newnan locations. The cushions between our vertebrae become damaged or wear down neck and back pain will become present. This can be during the normal aging process or from an injury as well. The areas that can be affected are in the lumbar and cervical typically. 

What are the symptoms of this disease?

You are probably wondering if you are suffering from this or how you can tell if this is possibly something that you could be dealing with. We placed some common symptoms below. 

  • Radiating pain in the lower back
  • Disabling pain around a certain disc on the spine
  • Increased pain when twisting
  • Increased pain when lifting items
  • “Giving out” sensation in the back when attempting to do something

These are just some of the symptoms that you may experience if you are suffering from Degenerative Disc Disease. Please contact us today if you think you are dealing with this and we have professionals ready to assist. 

Causes of this

This is something that is caused when there is a small tear in the disc wall or annulus which is the intervertebral disc that surrounds the soft inner core. This will happen over the aging process depending on your lifestyle and activities, but can also happen during a traumatic injury. Over time the pad that is in between your vertebrae will become smaller and can eventually slip and have them touch creating extreme amounts of pain. The un-balance can also cause alignment issues which in return can create spurs to grow from the faucet of the spinal joints. The causes can vary but once the process is started due to injury or activity these other factors come into play on how you will be able to deal with it. 

Treatments for your Degenerative Disc Disease. 

After all of this information, you are probably wondering what options do you have for treatments regarding this. First and foremost you need to go to your doctor and get an exam to best determine what is the best course of action for treatment. 

Some Treatment Options for Self-Care:

  • Ice or cold treatments where you apply an ice pack on the inflamed area to help reduce inflammation after activity or exercise. 
  • The heat from a heating pad, warm bath, or any heat source can relax surrounding muscles and reduce and spasms, a big contributor.
  • Pain medications such as acetaminophen or anti-inflammatory but are only for low-level chronic pain and should first be recommended by your doctor. 
  • A more technological approach would be an electrical nerve stimulation that helps minimize pain signals. 
  • Steroid injections into the spine’s protective outer layer will provide temporary pain relief. 

Physical Therapy is also fantastic to help the spine heal, prevent or reduce further recurrences. This would typically include stretching, strengthening, and aerobic exercise routines. 

These are just some treatment options which here at Georgia Pain and Spine Care that we can assist in providing. It is important to remember that this is a long-term issue of degenerative disc disease. Treatments will change over time depending on the severity.