Identifying the Signs of Degenerative Disc Disease

Degenerative disc disease is a common condition that affects the spine. It occurs when the intervertebral discs, which act as shock absorbers between the vertebrae, begin to degenerate due to age or wear and tear. This can cause extreme pain and discomfort in the back, neck, and other areas of the body. However, with early detection and treatment, you may be able to manage your symptoms and avoid further complications. Let’s take a closer look at some of the signs of degenerative disc disease.

Pain in the Back or Neck

One of the most common signs of degenerative disc disease is pain in your back or neck. This can range from mild aches and pains to severe chronic pain that makes it difficult to move around or perform everyday activities. The pain may come on suddenly or gradually worsen over time as your condition progresses. It may also be accompanied by numbness or tingling in your arms and legs due to nerve compression caused by the degenerated discs.

Reduced Range of Motion

In addition to pain, people with degenerative disc disease often experience reduced range of motion in their neck or back. This can make it difficult to move your head from side-to-side or bend forward without experiencing discomfort. The reduced range of motion can also make it more challenging for you to participate in activities like sports that require a lot of flexibility and mobility.

Loss of Height

Another sign that you may have degenerative disc disease is if you notice that you are losing height over time due to spinal shrinkage caused by weakened discs. This can be especially noticeable if you compare pictures taken several years apart since your spine will appear shorter than before due to shrinking discs pushing down on your vertebrae.

Degenerative disc disease is a common but serious condition that can cause significant pain, reduced mobility, and loss of height over time if left untreated. If you think that you may have this condition, it’s important to see a doctor as soon as possible so they can evaluate your symptoms and diagnose any underlying issues so they can create an effective treatment plan for you. By taking action now, you may be able to reduce your risk for further complications later down the road and improve your quality of life overall!

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POSMC is a full-service medical facility specializing in the evaluation and treatment of orthopedic injuries. The practice is led by a group of 12 board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons and a physical medicine and rehabilitation physician. Contact us today!

Dr. Kenneth S. Dauber

Physical Medicine, Spine, Hip and
Conservative Spine Care
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Dr. Daniel Sunwoo

Physical Medicine and Spine
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