Degenerative Disc Disease-Low Back

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Degenerative disc disease is the natural progression of aging. As we age the intervertebral discs of the spine lose elasticity and the ability to absorb shock, while the gel filled center of the intervertebral disc also begins to shrink as it dries out.

The structure surrounding the disc (annulus fibrosis) also becomes brittle and the vertebrae begin to develop spurs. As the disc begins to age it compresses from vertical forces. This compression leads to a narrowing which leads to pressure on the nerves and the subsequent back pain that can radiate down the leg.
Symptoms Include:
  • Stiffness after prolonged sitting.
  • Back pain that radiates down the back of the leg.
  • Activity restriction due to back pain.
Non-surgical treatment
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) such as Ibuprofen, Motrin, Naprosyn and Celebrex may be used to decrease back pain.Be sure to talk to your doctor before starting these medications.
  • Rest, bed rest to reduce load on compressed nerve.
  • Rehabilitation to strengthen back and abdominal muscles.
  • Back brace (lumbosacral support) to support effected vertebrae.
Surgical treatment
  • Spinal fusion.
  • Disc replacement surgery.

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Degenerative Disc Disease