Degenerative Disc DiseaseDegenerative disc disease is a part of the normal aging process of your spine. As we age discs lose their ability to absorb shocks. Discs can become rigid and your mobility can become reduced. As degenerative disc disease progresses, the collagen structures of the outer portion of your disc break down. Degeneration also reduces the water content in your discs, and the water content is essential to maintaining mobility.
Causes of Degenerative Disc DiseaseDegenerative disc disease is usually the result of aging. However, younger people can also present with symptoms of degenerative disc disease. Trauma or injuries can begin the degenerative process in discs.
Degenerative Disc Disease SymptomsSeveral symptoms are fairly consistent with lower back pain or neck pain from degenerative disc disease. These include:
• Pain that is associated with activity that occurs only at certain times but also re-occurs at a lower level. The pain may also go away entirely.
• The amount of chronic pain is variable and can range from almost no pain or a very slight pain to severe and/or disabling levels of pain.
• Episodes of severe pain that can consist of a few days or months before returning to a basic level of chronic pain.
• Chronic pain that is completely disabling is relatively unusal.
• Physical activities including bending, lifting and/or twisting that exacerbate pain.
• Sitting or standing sustained positions that cause pain that is eleviated with walking.
• Neck or back pain that is elevated by changing positions frequently.
• Pain relief when resting in a reclined position or lying down with elevated knees.