Back pain affects almost everyone at some point during their lifetime. While your pain may result from an injury, degenerative disc disease is a common cause of back pain that occurs as you get older. The orthopedists at Orthopedic Specialists in Palm Harbor, Florida, are experienced in the diagnosis and management of degenerative disc disease to reduce your symptoms and improve your quality of life. For a consultation, call the office or schedule an appointment online today.
Degenerative disc disease is a condition that affects the discs that separate the vertebral bones in your spine. These discs are made up of a fibrous tissue filled with a jelly-like substance that provides cushioning between your bones. As you get older, these discs shrink and deteriorate, causing a loss of height in between your vertebrae.
Without this cushioning, your vertebral bones may rub together and cause bone spurs, which in turn may irritate the nerves that branch out from your spine. The degeneration of the discs also makes them more susceptible to disc herniation where the tough exterior of the disc tears and the jelly-like fluid leaks out, which may then irritate the nerves.
The symptoms caused by degenerative disc disease can vary greatly, from nonexistent to debilitating pain. Some of the most common symptoms include:
The symptoms caused by degenerative disc disease may be only a dull ache that flares up every now and again. You may find that the pain from your degenerative disc disease is worse when you’re sitting, but improves with movement.
The experienced team at Orthopedic Specialists conduct comprehensive examinations when you come to the office with complaints of back pain to identify the underlying cause. Your examination may include a review of your symptoms, as well as a physical exam. To confirm or rule out degenerative disc disease, your doctor at Orthopedic Specialists may recommend diagnostic imaging, such as an X-ray or MRI.
Currently, there’s no cure for degenerative disc disease, but the team at Orthopedic Specialists can develop a treatment plan to help reduce your symptoms and improve your quality of life. Your treatment plan may include:
Surgery is rarely recommended for the management of degenerative disc disease. However, the skilled team at Orthopedic Specialists includes surgeons who can perform spinal fusion or artificial disc placement if you can’t get relief from your symptoms with conservative treatments.
For comprehensive care of your back pain, call Orthopedic Specialists or book an appointment online today.