As a person ages their spine can undergo degenerative changes that usually are a result of normal wear and tear. Spinal discs are located between each vertebrae of the spine, with each containing a gel-like center. The center of each disc acts as a shock absorber. As people age, the disc can dehydrate and start to shrink due to this loss of water, leading to degenerative disc disease. Disc degeneration can affect any part of the spine but is most common in the neck and low back. Though some degeneration is normal and most people, at some point in their lifetime, experience disc degeneration, it is not always symptomatic or painful. If you are experiencing prolonged neck or lower back pain, go through this blog to learn three common degenerative disc disease symptoms.
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1. Neck/Back Pain
A common symptom of degenerative disc disease is pain in the lower back or neck, legs, hands or arms. People that are experiencing pain associated with degenerative disc disease sometimes find it difficult to walk, move, lift, bend, or sit, as the condition causes pain. Usually this pain is low grade and continuous however, flare ups can cause more severe pain. If you are experiencing continuous back or neck pain it may be time to consult a doctor specializing in the treatment of degenerative disk disease to discuss available treatment options.
2. Muscle Spasms
Muscle spasms or tension are common symptoms of spinal instability which can be caused by degenerative disc disease. Some patients, however, may not experience pain, although muscle spasms tend to be temporarily debilitating and extremely painful. Other common degenerative disc disease symptoms include numbness and a tingling sensation in muscles.
3. Weakness, Numbness or Tingling in Extremities
In some cases of degenerative disc disease, patients experience weakness, tingling or numbness in their arms, hands, legs and/or feet. Such symptoms usually occur due to compression of the spinal nerves. As the nerve root is compressed, many patients find it more difficult to walk, bend, twist or lift. Sometimes this discomfort can be alleviated by sitting or lying down.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned in this blog, contact a physician referral center to start the process of finding a physician to help determine your treatment options. Referral centers can connect you to experienced surgeons who specialize in treatment options for degenerative disc disease in Plano, TX. A simple web search and selection of referral centers can help get you started in the right direction.