Degenerative Disc Disease

How Do I Know if I Have Degenerative Disc Disease?

As we age, there are changes that our spine goes through, including the wearing down of our vertebral discs. These changes include a loss of disc fluid in the disc’s core, which causes the discs to thin out and lose flexibility; sometimes the outer layer of the disc wears out, which can lead to disc “leakage” and herniated discs.

This makes movement of the spine more difficult and ultimately painful. People who suffer from obesity, smokers, and people who perform strenuous activity are often more susceptible to degenerative disc disease.

Your symptoms may vary, but those who suffer from degenerative disc disease typically experience:

  • Neck or back pain
  • Pain in the arms, legs, or buttocks that usually gets worse with more movement
  • Radiating numbness into the extremities
  • Weakness in the limbs

Pain from degenerative disc disease may also lessen over time, because much of the nerve-related pain is caused by inflammatory proteins. When these proteins are “burned out,” you may experience some pain relief. But because the spine naturally ages and weakens, it is important to continue to treat any pain symptoms, especially because the disease is chronic and can cause other spine conditions.

Do I Have Degenerative Disc Disease?

Which Treatment is Right For Me?

Consider scheduling an appointment with Southern Laser Spine if you are experiencing chronic or worsening conditions.

It can be helpful to keep a record of the pain you’re experiencing. Your diagnosis is based on a physical exam and comprehensive medical history review, and we will also want to discuss what kind of experience you’ve had with your conditions.

Dr. Alexander and his team will also want to know if you have a family history of the disease, or if you’ve experienced any recent trauma.

Treatment of degenerative disc disease is usually handled conservatively at the Southern Laser Spine. Some treatments include:

  • Cold and hot therapies (like ice packs or a heating pad)
  • Pain relievers
  • Activities like stretching may also relieve pain

Degenerative disc disease can cause other conditions to arise, like disc herniation or spinal stenosis. If you find that your condition develops further, you may require other treatment for relief.

Find the Right Treatment

Check out what our patients say about us!

"Dr. Alexander is the best surgeon. Thank you sir for my new back."

Robert R.

Naples, FL
"Great Doctor and he listens! Helpful staff!"

Leticia G.

Los Angeles, CA
"Very warm friendly helpful. Dr. Alexander is a wonderful doctor!"

Octavia D.

Miami, FL

Get a free phone consultation