So what is….
Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD)
Here is the interesting thing about all of these conditions: when referring to the spine, they all mean the exact same thing. More accurately, though, it is not a disease but more a term used to describe the process of changes that happen to a joint after a traumatic insult. Whatever the trauma is, be it a sudden impact sports-type injury or a repetitive use bending and lifting sort of wear and tear type of injury, it has been my experience that 100 percent of the time, this is how the process of degeneration begins.
Spinal joints are made up of discs that are located between each vertebra, and these discs act as shock absorbers or big cushions that help allow the spine to maintain normal healthy movement as well has help maintain space between the vertebra where the spinal nerves are exiting.
Without proper attention to a joint that has been injured, the mechanical health of that joint will decline, and the degenerative process will progress. This will lead to the disc itself starting to thin out or become less of a cushion, and this will leave less room for even pressure on that nerve that is trying to exit.
DDDDegenerative Disc Disease
DJDDegenerative Joint Disease
As time wears on with the nature of a degenerative disc, the bone of the vertebra will eventually start to change, and one of the ways that will happen is in the form or spurs. Depending on where their spurs develop, this also can be a source of irritation or even pressure on the nerve and contribute to the overall pain complex I see daily with conditions like this.
The most common place for degenerative disc disease to occur is in the lower back. When it does happen, this can put pressure on the spinal cord or on the nerve roots and cause the following types of pain or symptoms:
- Sharp buttock or leg pain
- Burning muscle pain
- Muscle weakness
- Foot numbness
- Tingling or pins and needles
- Shooting electric like pain
It is possible to experience some of these symptoms without actually having one of these disc conditions just yet. However, you want to have it checked out and properly diagnosed. Regular x-rays can help confirm or rule out degenerative disc conditions, though an MRI would more accurately and specifically identify to what degree or severity the condition has progressed.
The Good News Is That We Can Help!
There is a very large percentage of people with degenerative disc disease that can successfully avoid dealing with medications or invasive procedures like injections or surgery. I treat these disc conditions every day in my practice and have helped thousands of people just like you eliminate their pain and return to normal lifestyles.
Contact Chiropractic Works to Schedule an Appointment
One of the things I feel is most important in our degenerative disc disease treatment strategy is education. The more you understand the details of your condition and all of the chiropractic and non-chiropractic treatment options available in Athens, the better chance we have at successfully resolving your pain. Request an appointment today!