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.