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Degenerative Disc Disease: What You Should Know

One of the most common causes of back pain is degenerative disc disease. Unfortunately it is also one of the most misunderstood disorders of the spine. Every single person will experience some degree of degenerative spinal changes as they age, it’s to be expected. Degenerative disc disease is an extreme form of spinal degeneration that causes chronic pain in at any level along the spinal column. Most individuals are well into the late stages of degenerative disc disease before they seek help from a back doctor in Houston, TX.

The discs that sit between vertebral bodies act as shock absorption between the bones. They are made up of a tough outer layer called the annulus fibrosis and a jelly-like interior called the nucleus pulposus. In a normal individual these discs lose height and flexibility with advancing age. In an individual with degenerative disc disease these discs begin to lose height and flexibility as early as their 30’s. These discs can no longer act as shock absorbers and then the pain will begin when bone begins to rub on bone. Experts do not understand the exact reasons as to why this occurs.

Individuals who suffer from degenerative disc disease will visit their back doctor in Houston, Texas due to chronic spinal pain. An array of different symptoms can affect those who have diminished disc height due to this disease. Commonly patients will complain of increased pain while sitting, pain that increases with spinal movements (bending and twisting) as well as intermittent bouts of severe pain. Some patients even have sciatic or brachial plexus involvement due to advanced degenerative disc disease.

If you or a loved one is suffering from chronic back pain, pick up the phone. The physicians at Advanced Spine Institute can diagnose and treat your back pain.

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