Spine and Laser Center | Degenerative Disc Disease
- Is not technically a disease, but rather a state of disc dehydration and deterioration.
- Can occur due to a combination of cumulative trauma, poor dietary and exercise habits and the aging process.
- Causes your discs to become more susceptible to failure from physical stress. Failure may result in the tearing of disc fibers and other complications to include: osteoarthritis, disc bulging, disc herniation and stenosis.
- Occurs in three phases: phase I results in tears around the outer surface of the annulus, phase II results in the joint progressively losing strength and phase III results in loss of disc height, disc space narrowing, moderate to severe endplate damage, disc fibrosis and the formation of osteophytes which ultimately leads to surrounding vertebrae to fuse together.
Degenerative Disc Disease Causes
- Aging of the spine
- Genes that predispose you to excessive wear and tear on your joints and discs
- Smoking which decreases the amount of water in your discs, which is used to help absorb movement
- Injury to your back. This cause is typically related to the aging process.
Degenerative Disc Disease Testing Procedures
Medical doctors commonly use several different diagnostic testing procedures in order to effectively determine the best therapy for your pain condition. Doctors typically diagnose the degenerative disc condition by using a neurological and physical exam.
Degenerative disc disease can be a challenge to diagnose because of how gradual it occurs and because it can have numerous related problems including spinal stenosis and herniated disc.
Following are common procedures your doctor may use to collect as much data on your condition as possible before providing you with a therapy treatment recommendation:
- X-rays: a test that helps doctors survey the joints and bones in your spine.
- Cat Scan (CT): a routine test often used if your doctors suspects you have bone problems or if obtaining an MRI is not possible.
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): the most common procedure used to evaluate the vertebral bones, discs, joints, nerves and soft tissues in the lumbar spine.
Are you experiencing chronic pain in your neck or back?
We provide treatment for pain caused by degenerative disc disease in thousands of patients each year without turning to:
- Drugs or
Questions? Concerns? Give our Herndon chiropractic office a call and put your mind at ease.