Degenerative Disc Herniation and Disease Treatment Q&A
Chiropractic care is a popular treatment option for degenerative disc disease because it is gentle and non-invasive. Harvest Pointe provides acupuncture, chiropractic care, and other rehab exercises to relieve your degenerative disc disease sysmptoms. For more information, call us today or book an appointment online. We are conveniently located at 5069 Ellerslie Rd SW Edmonton, AB T6X 1X2.
Table of Contents:
What is degenerative disc disease?
What causes degenerative disc disease?
Can lower back pain be treated with degenerative disc disease treatments?
Is degenerative disc disease and herniated disc the same?
Intervertebral discs are cushioning structures within the spinal column that help support the vertebrae. They are found between each vertebra and provide a space for the spinal cord and nerve roots to exit the vertebrae. The main function of the discs is to cushion the vertebrae and protect them from shock and pressure. They also help to keep the spinal cord and nerve roots in the correct position within the vertebrae, which is important for the nerve signals to be transmitted from the spinal cord to the rest of the body.
Degenerative disc disease (DDD) is a condition that occurs when the protective discs between the vertebrae wear down, dry out and crack. It can cause pain and limitation of movement in the back and legs, but the pain typically only occurs when the discs become brittle and crack. The condition is most common in older adults; approximately 30 percent of people by the age of 35 show some sign of degeneration, and after age 60, 90 percent of people show evidence of spinal disc deterioration.
The natural aging process is the primary underlying cause of degenerative disc disease. With age, the body’s water content begins to decrease, including the spinal discs. Because the outer layer of the discs is made of cartilage, they can become brittle as their water and protein content are reduced; this makes them more susceptible to tearing and other forms of damage during everyday movement. The inner core of discs is gelatinous and has high water content when healthy; however, as the soft core of a disc dries out, it can become less able to withstand the stresses of supporting the spinal column and upper body, leading to cracks.
There are other risk factors in addition to aging that can influence the onset of the condition, such as:
• Genetic predisposition
• Excess body weight
• Traumatic injury
• Sitting for long periods of time
• Poor posture
• Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption
Although the natural aging process is ineluctable, taking steps to live a healthy lifestyle and promote long-term spine health can decrease the chances of developing degenerative disc disease and related symptoms and improve the overall quality of life.
When it affects the lumbar spine, degenerative disc disease can cause low back pain. In these cases, low back pain typically responds well to degenerative disc disease treatments. With regular treatments, many patients report a significant reduction in symptoms and an overall improvement in quality of life.
Degenerative disc disease is a spinal condition characterized by wear and tear in the intervertebral discs that cushion the bones in the spine. It is primarily caused by age-related changes that the body naturally goes through, and is incredibly prevalent in the older population. It can cause symptoms of pain, numbness, and limited mobility, but in many cases, the condition is asymptomatic, unless there is damage or pressure on the nerves.
On the other hand, a herniated disc occurs when the discs between the vertebrae bulge and rupture, often due to excess pressure. Herniated discs can be painful, particularly if they affect nerve function, such as the transmission of sensory information to the brain. While herniated discs are caused by deterioration in the spinal canal, it is not considered degenerative disc disease, as this condition is characterized not by a bulging disc, but by dry, brittle, and cracked discs.
To summarize, degenerative disc disease occurs when the spinal discs dry out, losing the water and gel components that support the back; a herniated disc is where the water content is still present, but the inside of the disc bulges, sometimes causing a different type of pain. If a herniated or degenerated disc is causing you symptoms, the professionals at Harvest Pointe Chiropractic and Integrative Health Centre can help. We look forward to serving you! Call us today or book an appointment with our degenerative disc herniation and disease treatment doctor, or visit our clinic conveniently located at 5069 Ellerslie Rd SW Edmonton, AB T6X 1X2. We serve patients from Edmonton AB, Beaumont AB, Nisku AB, Leduc AB, Acheson AB, and Sherwood Park AB.