Degenerative disc disease occurs when one or more of the spinal discs deteriorates or breaks down, causing discomfort. There may be numbness and discomfort down the leg. Despite its name, degenerative disc disease is a normal part of aging.
The elastic discs between the vertebrae generally allow for back flexion and bending. They get worn out and no longer protected as well.
Some of the most frequent symptoms of DDD include discomfort that is associated with the following:
- It is typically felt in the lower back.
- It is possible that it will spread to the legs and buttocks.
- stretches from the neck to the arms
- After twisting or bending, the condition deteriorates.
- It is possible to become worse from sitting.
a period of time that can be as short as a few days or as long as many months
People with DDD may report reduced discomfort after walking or engaging in physical activity. Leg muscles that are weakened as a result of DDD, as well as numbness in your arms or legs, might also occur.
Spinal disks degrade as a natural component of the aging process. The majority of people have some degree of disc degeneration, particularly after the age of 40. Pain, on the other hand, does not affect everyone.
If your spinal disks are damaged in any of the following ways:
Dry out: You have a softcore in each of your disks, which is largely made up of water. As you grow older, your core naturally loses part of its water content. This causes disks to become thinner and less effective at providing shock absorption than they once did.
Tear or crack: Minor traumas might cause small fissures in the discs of your spinal column. These rips are frequently found near nerves. Even slight tears can be unpleasant, therefore it is important to seek medical attention immediately. It is possible that the outer wall of your spinal disk can crack open, causing your disk to bulge out of position, which is known as a herniated disk. A herniated disk can cause a spinal nerve to be compressed.
Factors that increase risk
Although age is the most significant risk factor, there are several additional variables that might accelerate the process of degeneration.
These are some examples:
- physical labor that is taxing
- Tobacco use is defined as
- an injury that occurs suddenly and unexpectedly, such as a fall
Pain from degenerative discs can begin as a result of a large or little accident that results in abrupt and unexpected backache, or it can begin as a mild back pain that becomes more severe over time.
What does it feel like to have degenerative disc pain?
Pain caused by degenerative disc disease:
- It is possible to experience pain in the neck or lower back.
- Extensions into the arms and hands, as well as into the buttocks and legs, are possible.
- It might be mild, moderate, or severe in severity.
- It is possible to start and stop.
- It is possible that the pain will worsen after performing particular tasks such as bending, twisting, or lifting.
It is possible that the situation will deteriorate over time.
Degenerative disc disease treatment at home
Some people get relief from discomfort by using natural therapies at home. Pain relief therapies performed at home may be effective for a limited period of time. However, they are not recommended as long-term therapy for badly deteriorated discs in most cases. You might try the following:
Exercise: Walking or swimming, which are both low-impact activities, might help to strengthen back muscles and ease some discomfort.
Hot and cold therapy: Ice packs and heating pads alternated every 10 to 15 minutes for three to four times per day, up to three to four times per day, may help to relieve discomfort and inflammation.
Stretching: It is possible to improve posture and ease stress by doing gentle yoga and stretching throughout the day.
Treatments for lower back pain are aimed at strengthening the muscles that support the spine and alleviating symptoms. They may include the following:
- Physical therapy is another option.
- The use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines or analgesics (such as ibuprofen or naproxen sodium) (acetaminophen).
- Corticosteroid injections into the disc space are another option.
- Surgical procedures such as artificial disc replacement and spinal fusion.
More information on the drugs used to treat degenerative disc disease may be found at the arthritis drug guide.
One of the most effective strategies to manage degenerative disc disease is to take an active role in your own therapy.
You can do the following:
- Experiment with heat and cold treatment.
- Carry out physical therapy activities in the comfort of your own home.
- Change the activities that cause you pain, but avoid becoming inactive in your daily life.
- Put an end to your smoking habit.
- Keep a healthy weight by exercising and eating right.