Degenerative disc disease is a spinal condition that occurs when normal wear and tear on your spine causes pain. It is a very common condition, with over 3 million new cases diagnosed each year. While everyone’s spinal discs will begin to breakdown with age, not everyone will experience pain.
Degenerative Disc Disease Causes
In between each vertebra, there is a disc that provides cushioning between the bones. Think of that disc as a jelly donut – it is comprised of an extremely soft interior and slightly tougher exterior.
They are primarily made of water and, with age, can begin to dry out. As the discs lose water, they begin to flatten and lose the ability to absorb shock.
Spinal discs can also accrue small tears in the outer wall of the structure. These tears can be caused by anything from everyday movements to minor injuries. If the tears lead to a total breakdown of the wall, that’s when a herniated disc occurs.
Degenerative Disc Disease Symptoms
Where you feel pain from degenerative disc disease depends on where the disc with the most damage is located in your spine. Most people experience sharp pain in their neck or back and pain that…
- Occurs in the lower back, buttocks, or upper thighs
- Comes and goes
- Worsens with bending, twisting, or lifting
- Worsens with sitting
- Recedes with a change in position or when you lie down
If you or a loved one is suffering from the symptoms of degenerative disc disease, we urge you to seek professional medical help. Schedule an appointment with one of our board-certified surgeons today.