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Doctor insights on: Living With Degenerative Disc Disease

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What is degenerative disc disease?

What is degenerative disc disease?

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. ...Read more

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Dr. Bahman Omrani
338 doctors shared insights

Degenerative Disc Disease (Definition)

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, ...Read more


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Can I have degenerative disc disease?

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). ...Read more

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What causes degenerative disc disease?

What causes degenerative disc disease?

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 more

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What happens with degenerative disc disease?

What happens with degenerative disc disease?

Collapse: Discs lose water content and sponginess. More load on the facets causing them to hypertrophy. This in turn leads to more nerve root compromise. May ultimately end with need for surgical intervention. ...Read more

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Who is at risk for degenerative disc disease?

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 more

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What are options with degenerative disc disease?

What are options with degenerative disc disease?

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 more

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What are the tests for degenerative disc disease?

Degenerative disc: The most common test now done is the MRI, in some cases a CT scan can be also helpful ...Read more

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What are the signs of a degenerative disc disease?

What are the signs of a degenerative disc disease?

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 more

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