Nearly one-third of adults aged 40-59 have signs of degenerative disc disease, according to data from both the Hebrew Senior Life's Institute for Aging Research and the Boston Medical Center. Although it’s not technically a disease, this condition can cause debilitating back pain.
At Spine Group Beverly Hills, we understand how the wear-and-tear common in degenerative disc disease can impact your life. If damaged discs are causing your back pain, Dr. John Regan can replace the disc through minimally invasive surgery so you can resume your favorite activities.
But how do you know if you’re suffering from degenerative disc disease? In this article, we’ll explore the common signs of this condition.
Although magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can confirm damage to your discs, there are many signs that prove you’re dealing with degenerative disc disease.
Here are the top four symptoms:
Depending on which disc(s) are affected, you might feel pain or even numbness and tingling that radiates to your arms, hands, buttocks, or thighs.
What to do if you spot these signs of degenerative disc disease
Anytime you experience back pain, especially pain that interferes with your ability to perform daily activities, it’s a good idea to seek medical attention. That’s because there are many causes of back pain, and the best way to get relief is through a proper diagnosis and the right treatment.
When it comes to degenerative disc disease treatments, there are a few options, including artificial disc replacement. During this surgery, your damaged disc is replaced with an artificial one. This can be performed via a minimally invasive procedure, which means you’ll be back to your regular activities much quicker (than compared to traditional open surgery). Once your damaged disc is removed, you’ll notice a decrease in pain as well as an improvement in mobility.
Prior to your surgery, you might find at-home treatments ease the discomfort. This can include heat/cold therapy, over-the-counter pain medications, and physical therapy exercises.
The biggest risk factor for degenerative disc disease is age, although it’s possible injuries can damage your discs too. Obesity and leading a sedentary lifestyle can also increase your risk of developing degenerative disc disease.
Even if you don’t spot the signs of this progressive condition, you can still take strides to support your spine. Practice spine-healthy behaviors such as safe lifting techniques, exercise regularly (including strengthening your core), and include plenty of physical activity in your daily routine.
Not sure if your back pain is due to degenerative disc disease? Visit our website and schedule an appointment at our Beverly Hills or Santa Monica, California office today.