Degenerative Disc Disease – Everything You Should Know

One of the most common causes of lower back pain is known to be degenerative disc disease. As the name suggests, this condition occurs when spinal disc(s) get ruptured due to wear and tear. One of the most common causes of the condition is age-related degeneration of the spine that results in the break in the tough outer shell of the disc.

Spinal discs serve as shock absorbers between the vertebrae and prevent any damage during high-impact activities. They are also known to make our spine flexible and that’s why we can bend & twist easily without any problems. With age, bones start deteriorating and that also results in wear & tear in the spine. When discs get damaged, they do not function properly or even stop functioning. This causes pain and other irritable symptoms. This condition can be treated non-surgically using prescribed medication and physical therapy. Only in some rare cases, surgical intervention is required, and that may require orthopedic implant plates and screws.

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What is Degenerative Disc Disease?

Degenerative disc disease is not actually a disease, but it is a condition that occurs due to wear & tear in the spinal discs. Age-related wear & tear is natural and is the prime cause of degenerative disc disease. One of the points to be noticed about degenerative disc disease is that this condition is not generally known to cause long-term disability plus, it can be treated non-surgically. Pain could be intense in this condition and the person may also experience other symptoms like instability, weakness, and numbness (in pain or leg).

What Are the Causes of Degenerative Disc Disease?

The spinal discs are made having a tough exterior or shell that protects soft gel-like material present in the core. When any damage occurs to the outer shell, the central material comes out. Any changes occurring in the discs may result in degenerative disc disease. This condition could also develop due to certain other causes.

In newborns, the spinal discs are mostly made up of water and with age, some people tend to lose water making discs thinner. Thus, when discs become flat, they cannot absorb shock, and this could result in spinal problems. Besides this, everyday activities could also result in degenerative disc disease. Day-to-day activities like certain movements, load lifting, and some work-related activities may be the reason for degenerative disc disease.

How is the Condition Diagnosed?

The diagnosis of the condition often starts with the physical examination and medical history check of the patient. This helps the doctor identify the correct cause of the condition along with the associated symptoms. Thus, the treatment will be provided accordingly. Besides the physical examination, the doctor will also order certain tests to identify the location and severity of the condition. The tests ordered may include:

  • CT scan
  • MRI
  • X-ray
  • Discogram
How is this Condition Treated?

One of the challenging facts about degenerative disc disease is that it affects everyone differently and the treatment should be aimed according to the cause & symptoms shown. Most symptoms of the condition are known to become better with conservative treatments without the requirement of surgery. While on the other hand, severe cases may require surgical intervention. The treatment provided may include:

  • Ice application and rest in the case of acute back pain
  • Physical therapy
  • Stretching
  • Heat therapy
  • Yoga
  • Medications like NSAIDs, muscle relaxants, or opioids
  • Therapeutic injections
  • Surgery in case of complicated cases

Surgery might require the use of orthopedic devices and they must be of high quality. To get international standard quality orthopaedic implants, contact Siora Surgicals Pvt. Ltd., a reliable manufacturer of world-class quality trauma implants. The company is also known to be one of the experienced Orthopedic Equipment Suppliers in Malaysia.