WHAT IS DDD?
Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD) occurs when age-related wear and tear on the spinal discs result in neck/back pain.
Nearly everyone’s discs degenerate overtime as part of a natural phenomenon of ageing, but not everyone will feel pain. If your worn-out discs are causing you pain and other symptoms, you most likely have DDD.
WHO IS AT RISK?
Age is the biggest risk factor, but other factors can also speed up the process of degeneration.
- Poor posture
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Strenous physical work
- Multiple injuries
WHAT CAUSES DDD?
Repeated daily stresses on the spine & occasional injuries overtime will eventually result in damages and changes to your discs which includes:
- Loss of fluid which will reduce the effectiveness of the disc as a cushion
- Weakening of the outer structure of your disc leading to herniated/slipped disc.
The intervertebral disc is made up of two parts: a soft, gelatinous inner part & a tough outer part.
Any injury or wear & tear can cause the inner part to protrude through the outer part causing a herniation. It is most commonly due to improper heavy lifting or underlying DDD.
If you have a herniated disc, you may experience:
- Pain and numbness that extends to your arm or leg depending on the spinal level affected, usually one-sided
- Weakness, tingling, aching or burning sensation
- Pain that worsens on certain movement.
- Pain that worsens after sitting/standing
WHAT CAN I DO?
The kind of treatment will differ depending on the severity of your symptoms. Here are the options available:
- Ice/heat pack
- Spinal adjustments
- Traction and decompression therapy
- Physical therapy which includes stretching and strengthening exercises
The goal of treatment is essentially to relief pain, improve range of motion and flexibility & prevent further deterioration.