Degenerative Disc Disease Overview

Degenerative Disc Disease is a common cause for back pain in those who are over the age of 50. This is a naturally occurring process that will affect all of us at some point in our lives, regrettably for some it will go on to cause back pain, muscle weakness, and numbness in various parts of the body.

What happens to the spine when you have this condition is your intervertebral discs begin to lose their ability to protect the spine from daily use and they also can start to dry out and become thinner and more brittle which may could cause them to tear or crack open.

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Degerative Disc Disease Symptoms

Degenerative disc disease is a very common condition and it is estimated that most of us as we age will develop degenerative disc disease. Fortunately most people who have it do not demonstrate any symptoms at all, or they are so mild that they would not think to associate their pain with a condition such as this.

Also your symptoms may depend on where the majority of damage is located on your spine. You will have different symptoms if it is located in your cervical, such as neck pain, whereas if you have it in your lumbar you would have lower back pain.

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Conservative Degenerative Disc Disease Treatments

Since degenerative disc disease is degenerative in nature you cannot stop or reverse it once the process has begun, but you can slow it down and reduce your symptoms.

Unless your symptoms are very severe your doctor will start you on conservative degenerative disc disease treatments first; these are non-surgical in nature.

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Arthritis in the Spine Overview

Arthritis in the spine is just like arthritis seen anywhere else in the body; unfortunately because of where it is located it can really impact your life. When you have spinal arthritis it is called Osteoarthritis and is often seen with Degenerative Disc Disease; many times people think that the two are linked or the same condition with different names. This is not correct and they are in fact two separate back problems that are often seen in those who are over the age of 50.

What happens in the spine when you have osteoarthritis is your cartilage begins to wear down. When there is no more cartilage left your bones begin to rub together. This could cause the bones to form bone spurs, even if bone spurs don’t form you would still have pain, swelling, and loss of motion in that joint as it becomes inflamed and painful to move normally. The longer this is allowed to progress the stiffer and more inflexible your spine would become.

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Conservative Arthritis in the Spine Treatments

Any treatment for back pain must start off conservatively in nature unless your pain is very severe. Conservative arthritis in the spine treatments are those that are non-surgical in nature. If your pain is not being controlled by these treatments only then should you consider surgery as it should always be your very last option. Even at this point it would be elective and should only be followed through on if your life is being restricted by the pain you are experiencing.

There are many types of treatments that can be used for back pain and it may take some time to find what works best for you and your situation. Please remember that some of these treatments must be done for a few weeks or even months in the case of weight loss, before you would start to notice a change in your back pain.

This is a degenerative disease and while you can slow down the process you can never reverse it. Treatments should be aimed at reducing your back pain and increasing the strength, flexibility, and mobility in your back.

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