Degenerative disc disease causes a wide range of symptoms, such as back pain, numbness, and tingling. Dr. Trisha Patel of Revive Pain Management in Anaheim, California, helps manage and treat this troublesome condition with both surgical and non-surgical intervention. With her help, you can restore your active, healthy lifestyle. Call or schedule an appointment online with Dr. Patel to learn more about how you can alleviate your pain and improve your quality of life.
Degenerative Disc Disease Q & A
What is degenerative disc disease?
Degenerative disc disease, which really isn’t a disease but a condition, refers to a damaged spinal disc that causes you pain.
Spinal discs operate as shock absorbers between the different bones that make up your spine. They help your back remain flexible and are made up of two parts: a tough outer layer (annulus fibrosus) and a soft core (nucleus pulposus). Your spinal discs undergo normal wear and tear as you age, often leading to this condition.
Unlike other tissues in your body, your spinal discs have a very low blood supply, which makes repairing natural degeneration difficult without medical intervention.
What causes degenerative disc disease?
There are a variety of factors that can cause your spinal discs to degenerate over time, including aging. Other specific factors include:
Drying of a disc
Each spinal disc is comprised of approximately 80% water. As you get older, the disc may naturally dry out and affect its ability to absorb force.
Daily activities and sports
Repetitive shock absorbing as a result of sports or other recreational activities can cause disc degeneration, particularly if you are over the age of 60. Not everyone over 60 suffers from disc degeneration, but your risk is much higher.
Short-term injuries can lead to swelling and soreness in your lower back. The resulting instability can lead to chronic pain and disc degeneration.
How do you diagnose degenerative disc disease?
Dr. Patel first evaluates your symptoms, paying close attention to the circumstances in which the pain began. She then studies your medical history and performs a thorough physical examination before offering a diagnosis of degenerative disc disease. In many cases, she also uses MRI scans, or other diagnostic imaging tests, to assess any disc damage.
How do you treat degenerative disc disease?
Your personalized treatment plan will depend on the specifics of your condition, such as the severity of your pain and your symptoms. In most cases of degenerative disc disease, Dr. Patel treats you with a combination of therapies, including medication, physical therapy, and regenerative medicine.
PRP injections and stem cell therapy, two forms of regenerative medicine that Dr. Patel specializes in, both promote natural healing through the regeneration of healthy tissue.
If you’re suffering from chronic lower back pain that you suspect may be degenerative disc disease, call or schedule an appointment online today.