The definition of Degenerative Disc Disease
Degenerative disc disease refers to the worn out discs of the spine. Another form of a degenerative disc disease is called degenerative spondylosis.
Description of Degenerative Disc Disease
The common places of degenerative disc disease are the lower back (lumbar) and the cervical spine. Thoracic degenerative disc disease is rarer. As we get older the water content in the vertebral discs is reduced and the space between the discs narrows. Degenerative disc disease may start in people as early as 20 years of age! The changes in the spine show up in x-rays and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging).
What causes Degenerative Disc Disease?
Degenerating disc disease is the natural course of aging. Other causes can be a trauma like a car accident or an infection.
What are the symptoms of Degenerative Disc Disease?
The degeneration of the spine can produce pain, stiffness and restricted movements. If the person suffers from a herniation or rupture, the nerve root is affected and leg, groin and knee pain may follow.
Known symptoms of degenerative disc disease contain:
+In the seated position the load on the lumbosacral discs is 3 times higher than standing causing increased back pain.
+ Bending, twisting, lifting and certain movements worsen back pain.
+ Walking can alleviate back pain especially after prolonged sitting
+ Lying down usually relieves stress on the disc space
What are the types of pain from Degenerative Disc Disease?
The majorities of individuals with degenerative disc disease suffer from chronic lower back pain and get severe lower back pain from time to time. These painful attacks can last from a few days to a few months before the person returns to the level of chronic back pain. Additional problems from degenerative disc disease may be leg pain, groin pain and knee pain. Besides a "pinched nerve" which can be responsible for leg pain, numbness and tingling, the worn out structure of the back in older persons spread out pain to the lower extremities but does not reach below the knees. A weakness in the legs can be an indicator of a nerve root injury.