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What is Degenerative Disc Disease?

In the simplest terms, degenerative disc disease is when an intervertebral disc in the spine deteriorates over time. The term essentially describes the process of the disc decaying. Degenerative Disc Disease is also known as DDD.

What Causes Degenerative Disc Disease?

There are two main causes of degenerative disc disease. The first cause is inflammation. Inflammation is caused by the body trying to heal the damaged discs in the spine. This inflammation usually leads to a person experiencing neck or back pain. Depending on the location of the degenerative disc, the pain can radiate to other parts of your body.

The second frequent cause of DDD is abnormal mobility in the spinal joints. This occurs when the outer rings, or annulus, of the disc are worn down and can no longer absorb stress on the spine effectively.

These two causes may induce muscle spasms in the neck and lower back. The muscle spasms are your body’s attempt to stabilize the spine. Spasms are usually painful and are linked to the intense discomfort associated with DDD.

Types of Degenerative Disc Disease

If you have been diagnosed with DDD, you may have one of two types:

  • Lumbar Degenerative Disc Disease
    • This type of DDD is located in the lumbar spine, or lower back. In the lumbar region, the lower back pain can extend to the hips, legs, and feet.
  • Cervical Degenerative Disc Disease
    • Cervical DDD is a frequent cause for neck pain. This irritation in the cervical area can reach your shoulders, arms, and hands.

Degenerative Disc Disease Symptoms

Symptoms of DDD may include:

  • Pain that is stimulated by activity
  • Chronic pain in the neck and lower back
  • Severe episodes of pain in the neck or back that last a few days to months in duration before returning to generalized chronic pain
  • Inability to bend, twist, or lift without causing pain ti get worse
  • Nerve pain in the back, neck, legs and arms
  • Sciatica
  • Stiffness in the neck and low back
  • Limited range of motion in your back and neck

What Happens When Degenerative Disc Disease Progresses?

If left untreated, DDD may lead to or accelerate spinal conditions such as:

  • Spinal stenosis
    • Degeneration in the spine that leads to a pinched nerve
  • Herniated disc
    • The tearing of the rings of cartilage in the spinal disc
  • Bulging disc
    • The abnormal swelling of a spinal disc
  • Osteoarthritis in the spine
    • Degenerative changes in the facet joints in the spine
  • Spondylolisthesis
    • If the facet joints degenerate enough, they may become unstable. This instability may cause one vertebral body to slip forward on another.

Our Innovative Degenerative Disc Disease Treatments at Syracuse Medical & Aesthetics

You may have been told the only solution for DDD is to suffer through the pain. However, this is not the solution. If you are one of the many suffering from neck or back pain due to DDD, Syracuse Medical & Aesthetics can help. Our chiropractor works with you to find a treatment suitable for your specific type of degenerative disc disease that does not require drugs or surgery. Our proven comprehensive technologically advanced techniques allow us to treat the neurological, metabolic, and nutritional challenges causing your degenerative disc disease. We can reduce and possibly eliminate your chronic symptoms no matter how long you have been experiencing them. Syracuse Medical & Aesthetics has a solution that is right for you and will make you feel like yesterday…today! To learn more, fill out our online contact form or call our office at (315) 622-0102 today!