As you get older, you’re also more likely to experience musculoskeletal conditions caused by general wear-and-tear. One of the most common causes of back and neck pain in older adults is degenerative disc disease. At Spine Care Specialists, LLC, in Dublin, Ohio, the interventional pain management specialists regularly work with their patients to diagnose and treat this painful condition. If you suspect your symptoms are a result of degenerative disc disease, make an appointment by calling the office or clicking the online booking tool today.
Degenerative disc disease is a common musculoskeletal problem that occurs as a result of the natural aging process.
As you get older, the soft cushion-like discs that exist between your vertebrae deteriorate and break down. Over time, this causes your vertebrae to rub up against one another, causing stiffness, irritation, and pain.
The symptoms of degenerative disc disease vary from person to person and depend on the severity of your condition.
Some people with degenerative disc disease don’t experience any obvious symptoms at all; others experience pain that’s debilitating, preventing them from taking walks or exercising regularly.
The symptoms of degenerative disc disease also depend on the location of your damaged discs. For example, if the discs in your neck begin to deteriorate, you might experience issues in your arms, shoulders, or hands.
If the discs in your lower back begin to deteriorate, you might experience pain, numbness, or tingling in your buttocks or upper thighs.
Degenerative disc disease affects men and women, but it’s particularly common in people who are middle-aged and older. Other factors that increase your risk of degenerative disc disease include:
You’re also more likely to develop degenerative disc disease if you experience an acute, sudden injury, such as a fall off a ladder or an automobile accident.
To diagnose degenerative disc disease, your doctor at Spine Care Specialists, LLC, reviews your medical history and asks you a series of questions, including where your pain occurs, if it’s associated with any other symptoms, such as numbness or tingling, and which situations cause the most pain.
Next, your provider does a physical exam. During your exam, they assess your muscle strength, nerve function, and pain in response to touch. If these tests don’t provide adequate insights, your doctor might also order diagnostic imaging such as an MRI or CT scan.
After gathering all of the necessary information, they formulate a treatment plan that aligns with your individual needs and goals for treatment.
Whenever possible, Spine Care Specialists, LLC, uses conservative, minimally invasive treatments to address pain caused by degenerative disc disease.
Usually, your doctor recommends starting with light exercise. Walking, swimming, and cycling can build strength in your core muscles, providing additional support for your spine and musculoskeletal structure.
They might also recommend physical therapy, dietary changes such as eating anti-inflammatory foods, or an epidural steroid injection.
If your pain doesn’t respond to more conservative methods of care after some time, surgical intervention may be necessary. In this case, your doctor can refer you to a surgeon in the area for an evaluation.
Don’t let degenerative disc disease prevent you from living your best life. If you’re living with chronic back or neck pain, make an appointment at Spine Care Specialists, LLC, by calling the office or clicking the online booking tool today.