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Degenerative Disc Disease



Pain Areas: neck, upper, lower.

Indication: Usually related to activity and will flare up at times but then return to a low-grade pain level. Pain often gets worse with activities that involve bending, lifting, and twisting. It can range from mild to debilitating pain, numbness, and/or weakness that radiates to arms or legs.

  • Walking, and even running, may actually feel better than prolonged sitting or standing.
  • Patients will generally feel better if they can change positions frequently.
  • Patients with lumbar DDD (lower back) will generally feel better lying in a reclining position (such as with legs propped up in a recliner), or lying down with a pillow under the knees, since these positions relieve stress on the lumbar disc space.
  • Amount of pain does not correlate to the amount of damage in the spine.

Consultation: Diagnosis is typically confirmed with X-Rays and MRI.

Treatment: In rare cases when pain and symptoms persist or worsen despite several months of non-surgical treatment, or if spinal cord health is at stake, surgery may be considered.

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