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A 47-year-old member asked:

What is degenerative disc disease?

4 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Bennett Machanic
Neurology 52 years experience
Wear and tear: Since we are bipeds and walk upright, our discs support a great deal of pressure. Over time the support fibers (annulous fibrosis) may fray or split allowing the internal disc contents to bulge or protrude. The space between the vertebrae may narrow, and the disc may dry out or dessicate. This eventuates in pain and stiffness.
Dr. Laurence Badgley
General Practice 53 years experience
Radiologic Term: Probably most popular "diagnosis" doctors use as speculative causation of low back pain generation. "ddd" is term commonly taken from radiologic reports when doctors need diagnosis otherwise undiscovered. Medical literature correlating chronic low back pain with ddd is sparse. Most people with ddd do not have pain. Up to 30% chronic low back pain from sacroiliac joint, largest axial spine joint.
Dr. Dan Fisher
Internal Medicine 27 years experience
DDD: In short, it is normal wear and tear of the vertebrae and discs without evidence of a more precise pathology such as neural impingement , inflammation, spondylolisthesis, dish, etc.
Dr. Eric Weisman
Neurology 36 years experience
Yes: Living in florida and being 39 you can be developing osteoarthritis of the spine. You can tell from plain x-rays. Are the vertebral bodies getting close togeather at any level and are there bony overgrowths seen like in this photo ? This is the lumbar spine (low back).

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A 30-year-old member asked:

What are the tests for degenerative disc disease?

1 doctor answer3 doctors weighed in
Dr. James Goodrich
Neurosurgery 39 years experience
Degenerative disc: The most common test now done is the MRI, in some cases a CT scan can be also helpful
A 42-year-old member asked:

What is the treatment for degenerative disc disease?

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Bennett Machanic
Neurology 52 years experience
Non-surgical treat: Best to avoid surgery, if possible. Use of physical therapy, massage, exercise, muscle relaxants, and pain meds can all play a role. Acupuncture may help control the pain, and both osteopaths and chiropractors may assist rehab steps.
A 32-year-old member asked:

Who is at risk for degenerative disc disease?

2 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Bennett Machanic
Neurology 52 years experience
Susceptibility: There are some who have early degenerative arthritis in their families, and others whose work causes excessive wear and tear, such as heavy construction work, repetitive bending, tilting, twisting.
A 44-year-old member asked:

How can you prevent degenerative disc disease?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Seth Zeidman
Neurosurgery 33 years experience
Avoid Trauma Smoking: Avoid traumatic injury to discs as well a repetitive injury. Avoid or quit smoking. Use good nutrition with plenty of vitamin a, c< and e. Hope for good inherited features.
A 46-year-old member asked:

What causes degenerative disc disease?

2 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Bennett Machanic
Neurology 52 years experience
Wear and tear: Since we are bipeds and walk upright, our discs support a great deal of pressure. Over time the support fibers (annulous fibrosis) may fray or split allowing the internal disc contents to bulge or protrude. The space between the vertebrae may narrow, and the disc may dry out or dessicate. This eventuates in pain and stiffness.

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Last updated Jan 2, 2020

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