What causes disc degeneration?
- Degenerated disc disease is a term used to signify changes in the intervertebral disc as part of normal ageing or injury (annular tear).
- If there is an injury leading to tears in the disc’s outer layer (annulus), this can cause loss of fluid and new nerve formation. This causes a few inflammatory changes leading to pain.
- This is one of the most common causes of lower back pain. But it does not cause much pain.
- Degenerated disc disease perse causes pain in the midline back if the degenerated disc disease is associated with disc herniation (prolapse, which is a common occurrence or Sciatica, where the pain can radiate down the leg.
What symptoms does one have in Disc Degeneration?
- Usually back or neck pain, wherever the disc degenerates.
- If there is lumbar disc degeneration, the pain is there in the midline lower back, buttocks and back of the thigh.
- The degenerated disc pain increases during manoeuvres like bending forward, lifting weights, twisting, coughing etc.
How is degenerated disc disease diagnosed?
- Medical history and physical examination
- Imaging Test: X-ray, CT Scan, MRI Scan
What is the treatment for Disc Degeneration?
For moderate pain, interventional pain procedures are suggested.
- Caudal epidural injections.
- Grey Rami communicantes RF ablation.
- Disc decompression techniques.
- Intradiscal PRP Injection.
These pain procedures are minimally invasive (not open spine surgeries), done under X-ray guidance on a daycare basis.
Your pain physician will decide which Treatment is Best Suitable for you.
Note – Post pain intervention, physical therapy and spine strengthening are essential.
What are the surgical options available for Disc Degeneration?
- For severe pain, open surgical techniques are available.
- That include
- Discectomy and fusion
- Dynamic stabilizations
- TLIFS and Disc Replacements.
These are open surgeries done under general anaesthesia. If there is associated disc prolapse with the disc degeneration, that has to be treated as well. These are rough guidelines, and individual procedures are chosen only after consulting your pain physician.
When should I talk to a doctor about my back pain?
You should make an appointment If you have back or neck pain that lasts for more than a few days and doesn’t subside with rest, heat and ice, or over-the-counter pain relievers. If you have any pain, numbness, or weakness in your legs or arms, you should seek medical treatment immediately.
How are back pain treated?
Synapse Pain and Spine Clinic creates customized treatment plans, usually combining medication with other therapies to relieve your pain and heal the condition causing it. Your treatment plan may include physical therapy, spinal injections, trigger point therapy or injections, and nerve blocks. In severe cases, your doctor may recommend surgery or an implantable device like a spinal cord stimulator to relieve your pain.