Degenerative Disc Disease

Degenerative Disc Disease

Have you ever heard the term, “Degenerative Disc Disease?” This is actually NOT a disease, but rather, a condition from a damaged or worn out disc that causes pain. This condition is most often a result of poor posture, an injury, aging or being overweight. It can also be caused by experiencing an injury or trauma to the spine that is left untreated.

How does Degenerative Disc Disease occur?

Everyone’s spinal discs will show signs of wear as they age, but delayed or no treatment at all can contribute to further pain and degeneration.

Why is this?

If a muscle or area of the spine remains under stress in an incorrect position for too long, it will cause further damage.

A similar example of this may be if you only make right turns with your car. Eventually, the wheels, axle, shocks and other parts of your car on the right side will wear down faster than on the left. The same is true of your spine. If your spine is impacted by an injury, an unhealthy posture, or a repetitive action that causes stress over time, it will cause unnatural wear and lead to serious pain.

Symmetry and balance are essential to the health of the spine. If your spine is out of balance, there is a greater chance that degeneration will occur.

What are the dangers of degeneration?

By definition, degeneration means that deterioration and loss of function in the cells of a tissue or organ occurs over time.

This loss of function in the cells, muscles, and tissue can cause pain in other parts of the body and also lead to dysfunction of the internal organs that are tied to the spine.

If someone has degenerative disc disease, they may experience accelerated aging symptoms and pain that cause weakness, numbness, muscle spasms, hot and shooting pains in the arms, legs, neck, and back.

The greatest danger of degenerative disc disease is that if left untreated, it will continue to get worse over time.


What are the most common signs of Degenerative Disc Disease?

DDD is most often noticed with pain in the neck (cervical spine) and lower back (lumbar spine). These areas of the spine undergo the most motion, movement, and stress, and are the most common areas that one will experience pain and degeneration. If you are experiencing pain in these areas frequently, you should seek the consultation and help of a chiropractor immediately.

Pain in the neck or spine can also travel and affect other parts of the body. Improper posture, lack of mobility, and too much stress on certain areas of the spine will contribute to pain that can affect muscles throughout the entire body. Remember, that even if you’re not feeling pain directly in the back or neck, pain in other areas of the body can be rooted in problems in the spine. The same is true of your internal organs, such as your heart, stomach, or bladder, and your immune system.

The most common symptoms of a degenerative disc include:

  • Pain with bending or twisting
  • A lock-up or “frozen” pain in the back
  • Muscle spasms
  • Sharp, stabbing, or hot pains in the shoulder, arm, hand, hips, buttocks, or feet
  • Pain from holding certain positions (such as sitting or standing) for longer periods of time
  • Pain throughout the body when sleeping or just laying down
  • Lack of energy

How do you treat Degenerative Disc Disease?

There are a variety of different treatments, but the greatest way to stop the pain and improve your spinal health is to tell a doctor and let them suggest the best treatment plan for you. In some cases, the best solution may be receiving regular spinal adjustments to correct and take pressure off the sensitive nerves. In other cases, you may need medication, injections or icing.

Get Help from a Tulsa Chiropractor

The bottom line and the most important action is to tell a medical professional and allow them to help you. Dr. Curtis Smith has been serving the Tulsa community for many years and has experience helping patients with degenerative disc disease. To schedule an appointment and receive a free initial medical consultation, contact us by calling 918-836-7900.

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