Doctor insights on:
Can Degenerative Disc Disease Be Reversed
Genetics: In a research study started in 1991 and published in 2009 (the spine journal 9 pg. 47-59), identical and nonidentical twins were longitudinally studied. Twins had widely differing levels of risk factors (activity, smoking, occupation) thought to cause ddd. This study showed that there is a strong genetic component to ddd and that external risk factors previously belived to be important, were not. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Everybody!: Unfortunately, as we age, everyone is at risk for degenerative disc disease. However, the risk is higher in individuals with the following: 1. Smoking 2. Obesity 3. High demand jobs involving a lot of vibration, repetitive bending, or lifting (such as truck drivers, construction workers, jobs involving frequent heavy lifting, etc.) 4. Genetic tendency in families 5. Trauma. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Therapy, medications: Initial treatments for ddd and osteoarthritis of the spine include physical therapy, massage, medications. Some try acupuncture or chiropractic manipulation. If symptoms are more severe, consider pain management for stronger medications. Sometimes, despite all these treatments, symptoms are still there. See your doctor first. Consider an evaluation by a spine surgeon to discuss surgery. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Misnomer: For practical purposes, it's a misnomer describing an aging disc. It's like telling someone with wrinkles that she suffers from "degenerative skin disease". Radiologists love to use this term, so do busy spine surgeons. "disease" makes it sound like you urgently need a fusion or artificial disc implant. All our discs "degenerate" over time and most of us never have any trouble from that. ...Read moreSee 2 more doctor answers
Not a disease : More a condition like calling wrrinkly skin disease commonly asymptomatic age related risk factors include smoking truck driving 30% of people with no backache over age of 30 have findings consiatant with ddd on MRI ddd is a MRI finding not a diagnosis. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Aging: Degeneration of the disk involves chemical changes, loss of water content, tearing of the fibers, loss of height. Genetics plays a role, but if a person lives long enough she or he will eventually have some disk degeneration. It can be painless. When there is pain, it is called disease, but proving that it is the source of pain is not always possible. ...Read more
A variety: Of non steroidal anti inflammatory medication as long as there are no contraindications like allergies, use of blood thinners, kidney or liver disease or ulcer/reflux issues . Tylenol (acetaminophen) is an option. Other types of drugs like cymbalta, Elavil and neurontin/lyrica may also help. Ideally, not smoking, regular exercise and weight control are also helpful. Good levels of vitamin d also are important. ...Read more
Disability : The question of disability is a difficult one. Disability is determined not by a specific disease, but instead by what a patient is able or unable to do. Mild degenerative disc disease can manifest in different ways. Based on the fact that it is mild, it is unlikely to cause symptoms that are severe enough for disability. However disability is determined by the patient's ability to perform activities and work. Determination of disability requires evaluation by your doctor. ...Read moreSee 2 more doctor answers
When disks narrow: Degenerative disks are when the normal "spongy" architechture of the disks goes away. The disks normally are between the vertebre in your spine. So when the disks degenerate, you lose mobility and eventually the bones can touch together, which is very painful. Also when the disks degenerate, they can also herniate. ...Read moreSee 2 more doctor answers
Preventative: I favor fitness, weight maintenance, no smoking, preventative measures and when symptoms prevail, physical therapy, core strength, anti inflammatories, and ergonomic postural solutions. In many people orthotics can help foot/ankle contributors and pelvic spine lock up can be improved with mobilization. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
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