Learn to Understand Degenerative Disc Disease
Many people suffer from lower back pain, which can vary in its intensity and cause, a discomfort that many live with for a long time before getting diagnosed. A common cause for lower back problems is degenerative disc disease, a condition that affects many people. It is a condition that can develop naturally with age, although it can also occur prematurely or as a result of injury or other circumstances. Most people do not truly understand degenerative disc disease – what it is or why it happens. Consultation with a specialist at a pain clinic in Bryan can offer a way to understand it, alleviate worries, and learn what can be done for the pain that it causes.
Understanding the Condition
Degenerative disc disease, also called DDD, is actually a condition and not a disease. It is not a contagious illness; it develops naturally over time under many circumstances. In simple terms, degenerative disc disease is the progressive breakdown of the discs or cushions that provide padding between the vertebrae. These cushions actually have many neurons on the outside layers, so when degeneration progresses to the point that the outer layer is involved, inflammation occurs. When discs do not have enough padding, there can be mild vertebral involvement which often feels like stiffness in the lower back and reduced range of motion; all of this can cause the back muscles to cramp and cause lower back pain.
This condition can cause chronic, low-grade discomfort in the lumbar area that is more annoying than anything else, although for some it can be excruciating and debilitating. It is also assumed that pain will increase as degeneration of the discs progresses, whereas the pain can actually improve for some over time, which can be somewhat of a relief.
Discomfort is sometimes worse when sitting, bending, or twisting; however, in most cases the symptoms can be managed fairly easily with conservative treatment such as anti-inflammatory medicines, careful exercise for the lower back, reducing bending and twisting, and improving posture through the use of ergonomic seating. Consultation with a specialist with a pain clinic in Bryan could prove to be very helpful. More serious cases are sometimes managed with steroid injections and electrical stimulation, with surgery as a final option only if it is really required.
Causes of Degenerative Disc Disease
In most cases, DDD is unavoidable as it occurs naturally. Many people have mild cases and are completely unaffected by it; others have more serious degeneration and experience more discomfort. While there are still many unknown details about the causes of this condition, physicians do know that other than the aging process that cannot be stopped, certain things such as continued strain on the lumbar spine from bending and twisting and chronic dehydration attribute to its development. Sometimes DDD can also be an after-effect of a previous back injury.
While it seems that many will at some time develop degenerative disc disease, there is good news in knowing that in most cases, it is can be treated conservatively. Anyone who is concerned about developing DDD at some point in time should take measures to stay fit, be careful with activities that could cause further problems with the lumbar spine, and contact a local pain clinic in Bryan for more advice on staying pain-free!
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