Finding Relief from Pain Caused by Degenerative Disc Disease
Degenerative disc disease is part of the normal aging process and is one of the most common causes of lower back pain. As we age, our bones, tendons, tissues, etc., weaken and lose strength. When this process occurs in the spine, the discs may become herniated resulting in spinal stenosis.
Symptoms of Degenerative Disc Disease
Degenerative disc disease can lead to intense pressure on the spinal cord and nerves, often causing debilitating pain and reduced nerve function. People with this condition often have trouble bending over, reaching, and twisting their bodies. You may feel pain that:
- Flares up for more than a few days
- Worsens with twisting or lifting
- Begins after sitting for a long time
- Goes away when lying down
Those who develop degenerative disc disease often have symptoms of neck pain, arm pain, or pain in the back, buttocks, or leg. Your doctor will have an idea of where the degeneration is taking place depending on where the pain radiates from.
Diagnosing and treating your pain
If you or your doctor suspect you have degenerative disc disease, a board certified pain specialist can help diagnose your pain. He or she will discuss your medical history and perform a thorough physical examination to determine the etiology of your pain. MRI imaging may also be used to further assess your symptoms.
For patients suffering from degenerative disc disease, many will find that nonsurgical treatment will improve their condition and reduce their pain. Anti-inflammatory medications, low impact exercises, and other therapies such as acupuncture can be implemented into your care plan. For some patients, however, pain medication alone may not be enough to treat their pain. If conservative therapies have not provided adequate pain relief, your pain specialist may recommend interventional pain care for degenerative disc disease, such as:
- Spinal injections (i.e. epidural, facet joint, sacroiliac joint)
- Nerve block techniques
- Disc decompression
- Spinal cord stimulation
If you or your doctor suspect you have degenerative disc disease, or if you have known degenerative disc disease that has not responded to prior treatments, contact us today. PRC Alliance Pain Relief Centers offer a range of pain treatments for degenerative disc disease, and our doctors work with your doctor and other medical professionals to provide the most advanced, minimally invasive options available.
Tse C. Lee, MD is a double board certified pain management physician at PRC Alliance Pain Relief Centers. To learn more, visit Dr. Tse C. Lee’s profile.