Degenerative_Disc

Degenerative Disc Beaumont, TX

Degenerative Disc Beaumont, TX

degenerative-disc-diseaseDegenerative disc disease isn’t really considered a disease, but more of a term that is used to describe the normal changes within the spinal discs as you grow older. The spinal discs are a soft, compressible disc that separates all of the interlocking bones making up the spine. The discs serve as shock absorbers for the spine, providing it with the room to flex, twist and bend. Degenerative disease can occur throughout the spine, but it often occurs in the lower part of the back and the neck.

Changes in the discs can end up resulting in pain in the neck or back, as well as:

Osteoarthritis – the breakdown of cartilage that cushions and protects the joints

Herniated Disc – abnormal bulging or breaking open of the spinal disc

Spinal Stenosis – narrowing in the spinal canal, which is the open space for the spine that helps to hold the spinal cord in place

Any one of these conditions can end up putting pressure on the nerves and the spinal cord, which leads to pain and potentially affects nerve functioning.

Causes of Degenerative Disc Disease

As you grow older, the discs in the spine will slowly break down, which can result in this degenerative disease in some individuals. Age-related changes will often include:

Fluid loss in the discs. When fluid is lost, the discs ability to function as shock absorbers in minimized, which makes them less flexible. Losing fluid will also make the discs thinner and narrow the amount of distance between the vertebrae.

Tiny cracks or tears in the outer part of the discs. Inside of the disc, there is a jelly-like material that can be forced from the cracks or tears. This causes the disc to break open, bulge or break into multiple pieces.

All of these changes are far more likely to appear in those who regularly smoke cigarettes and those who do a lot of heavy work. People who are overweight are also more prone to the development of a degenerative disc Beaumont, TX.

Sudden injuries leading to a herniated disc might also begin the process of degeneration. As the space in-between all of the vertebrae decreases in size, the amount of padding between the discs grows smaller, which makes the spine less stable. The body ends up reacting to this change by creating bone spurs. Spurs can cause pressure on the spinal nerve, which can result in pain and problems with normal nerve function.

Symptoms Associated with Degenerative Disease

Degenerative disease might result in pain in the neck and back, but it can vary from one individual to the next. Many individuals don’t have any pain, while others with the same type of damage can have pain so severe that it limits the amount of activities they can do. Depending on the location of the affected disc, the pain will vary in where it occurs. Affected discs in the neck can result in arm or neck pain, while a disc affected in the lower part of the back can cause pain in the leg, back or buttock. Pain will worsen when doing movements such as reaching up, bending over or twisting.

Pain can start after suffering from a major injury, normal movement or a minor injury. Anything from a car accident to simply bending over to pick something up can trigger this condition to occur. It can also start over the course of time for no reason at all, until it gets progressively worse and you begin taking notice of the pain. In certain instances, you might have tingling or numbness in the arm or leg.