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Doctor insights on: The End Stages Of 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

Dr. Bahman Omrani
351 Doctors shared insights

Degenerative Disc Disease (Definition)

Occurs 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, ...Read more


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Can I have degenerative disc disease?

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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How do I know if I have degenerative disc disease?

DDD: Many people are asymptomatic from degenerative disc disease, while some will have pain along the involved portion of the spine. ...Read more

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What can you tell me about degenerative disc disease?

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 more

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Can you tell me details of degenerative disc disease?

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

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What medicines help with degenerative disc disease?

What medicines help with degenerative disc disease?

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

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Is mild degenerative disc disease a permanent disability?

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 more

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What is best way to treat symptoms of degenerative disc disease?

What is best way to treat symptoms of degenerative disc disease?

Lifestyle changes: Usually incorpoating an exercise routine, proper weight control, smoking cessation, possible use of a back support, making sure your mattress is good and sometimes use of over the counter medications if no medical reasons not for their use. ...Read more

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What is the definition or description of: degenerative disc disease?

What is the definition or description of: degenerative disc disease?

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 more

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Does degenerative disc disease really progress or does it stay the same?

It can progress: Asit progresses it can become less symptomatic it's "worsening" on x-ray or MRI may not involve worse symptomsor any symptoms at all just because you have back pain and ddd on imaging doesn't mean it is the cause of your dback pain. ...Read more

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What are other options to treat degenerative disc disease other injections?

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 more

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What are more options to treat degenerative disc disease other that injection and p.T.?

What are more options to treat degenerative disc disease other that injection and p.T.?

Exercises: Degenerative disc disease is a process of normal aging. Would advise you to participate in aquatic and land based exercises. Pilates & yoga may beneficial. Judicious use of otc nsaids may used. ...Read more

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How can you prevent degenerative disc disease?

How can you prevent degenerative disc disease?

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. ...Read more

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What exercises recommended for cervical degenerative disc disease?

What exercises recommended for cervical degenerative disc disease?

Postural: Exercises designed to condition the muscles that maintain good posture. A physical therapist or physiatrist may suggest the best ones for you. ...Read more

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Best treatment for degenerative disc disease?

Best treatment for degenerative disc disease?

A sequence: Degenerative discs leak fluid which sets up a significant inflammation with pain and sometimes dysfunction of sensory and functional nerves. Treatment includes rest, ice (not heat) and good physical therapy along with nsaids. Steroid injections can sometimes help. If the condition persists more than 3 months, surgery is sometimes needed. ...Read more

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Are degenerative disc disease and arthritis the same?

Are degenerative disc disease and arthritis the same?

No: Degenerative disc disease is a mislabeling as it is a description used for the natural aging process of the discs. This degeneration can lead to inflammation which is what arthritis is, an inflammation of a joint. Not all degenerative joints are arthritic. ...Read more

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Are degenerative disc disease and arthritis the same thing?

Are degenerative disc disease and arthritis the same thing?

Pretty much: The most common type of arthritis is known as degenerative arthritis and describes the gradual wearing down of the cartilage cushion in a particular joint. In the spine, the disc serves as the cartilage cushion between the vertebrae. When it gets worn down this is known as degenerative disc disease, which essentially is a degenerative arthritis of the spine. Thank you for your question. ...Read more

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Can parachuting cause degenerative disc disease?

Yes: As you have likely heard, it is not the fall but the landing. Repetitive forceful drops can be transmitted to the spine and accelerate normal wear and tear. ...Read more

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When is surgery needed for degenerative disc disease?

When is surgery needed for degenerative disc disease?

Rapid progression: When pain becomes unmanageable, and there is progressive loss of strength and sensation, and a risk to bladder function occurs, there is little hesitation, but if one has merely a radiological disc lesion, it may well shrink and dessicate in about 8-9 months, and surgery is not necessary. ...Read more

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How could a 10-year-old get degenerative disc disease?

Disc disease: Degenerative disc disease in a 10-year-old is quite rare. The most common cases would be trauma, severe obesity and there are rare inherited disorders that affected bone. ...Read more