Wear And Tear Of A Disc
Degenerative disc disease (DDD) is when the cartilage of the spine’s joints begins to lose strength. This condition is common as a person gets older and experiences wear and tear of the spine. The discs are like cushions and help a person stand, bend, and twist. However, when degenerative disc disease happens, standing and movements become difficult, and a person experiences various symptoms.
1. Back pain
A common symptom of degenerative disc disease is pain felt in the spine. Back pain can range from mild to severe. The duration of the pain in the spine varies and can last a few weeks or months.
2. Tingling in the limbs
Paresthesia, which is numbness and tingling, is another common symptom seen in degenerative disc disease. This sensation can occur in the upper or lower limbs and is radiating in nature. The feeling travels to other parts of the body, such as the buttocks and back.
3. A weak feeling
Another symptom people with DDD may experience is weakness. A loss of strength or weakness happens when the nerve is significantly affected and requires medical attention.
4. Daily activities are affected
With degenerative disc disease, simple daily activities are significantly impacted. Back pain worsens with sitting, bending, twisting, or lifting.
Managing DDD symptoms
If experiencing degenerative disc symptoms, consult a healthcare provider who can evaluate the condition by doing a physical examination and running tests. Imaging tests such as an x-ray, computed tomography (CT) scan, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can all be used to take a closer look. The doctor will provide treatment based on the level of symptoms and results of the imaging test. There are many options for managing the symptoms of degenerative disc disease.
Pain relief is in sight
Treatments for DDD include home remedies, medical management, and surgery. Home treatments involve gentle exercises and applying hot or cold therapy. Medical treatments include over-the-counter (OTC) medications, prescribed medications, physical therapy (PT), and steroid injections. In severe cases or when conservative treatments fail, the doctor may suggest surgery to fix the disc.
Reducing future risk
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help lessen the risk of developing degenerative disc disease. A combination of a healthy diet and daily exercise is helpful. Aim for a healthy body mass index (BMI) since additional weight can put pressure on the spine. Avoid products such as tobacco, which can increase the desiccation rate, and reduce alcohol intake when possible.
Living a pain-free life
Degenerative disc disease symptoms include back pain, paresthesia, weakness, and interference with daily activities. Seek medical help if experiencing DDD symptoms. Non-surgical treatment options can usually help reduce pain but must be done consistently to work.