Pain Type: Degenerative disc disease occurs when the discs between your vertebrae break down, usually due to injuries, age, arthritis, or osteoporosis. As discussed when describing herniated discs, your spinal column is made up of a stack of vertebrae with discs in between which provide cushion. These discs are soft in the center and grow tough towards the exterior. Your discs are comprised of 80% water and as you age, the amount of water becomes diminished, as well as their ability to provide cushion. Unfortunately, discs cannot repair themselves once damaged. There are treatment options though that can reduce the pain associated with degenerative disc disease.
Symptoms: Pain can feel different depending on the type of degeneration you are experiencing. If you have had a traumatic injury then sudden and unexpected back pain may appear. A minor injury can cause sudden back pain to appear. You may experience back pain that gets gradually worse. Most likely you feel pain in your lower back and buttocks and it may or may not spread down your leg. Pressure, burning pain, weakness, numbness and tingling can also be felt. Different positions tend to aggravate pain associated with degenerative disc disease such as sitting, turning, and bending.
Treatment: Physical Therapy, Narcotic Medication, Non-Narcotic Medication, Muscle Relaxants, Epidural Steroid Injections: An injection will be given depending on the disc affected. This injection will contain medication and/or anesthetic and will decrease inflammation.