4 Surprising Facts About Degenerative Disc Disease

The spine is a sensitive part of the body, and even minor deterioration can lead to drastic changes in your comfort level. Degenerative disc disease, or DDD, is one of the most common back conditions a person can develop as they age. This disease, caused by the loss of tissue cushioning between the individual discs in the spine, can lead to sudden aches and pains that are difficult to treat.

Because this condition is so common, it’s easy for many people to think that they know all about it. However, we’re here to prove this isn’t always the case with some surprising facts about degenerative disc disease.

It Doesn’t Meet the Definition of a Disease

One of the first things to know about DDD is that it technically isn’t a disease. This is because the overall deterioration of the spine and the spinal discs is natural and occurs over several years. Diseases, on the other hand, are a condition that develops from other factors, such as bacteria or infections. When an individual develops DDD, it’s because their discs are dehydrated and become fragile with age. And, unfortunately, you can’t fully prevent it in many cases.

Specialized Exercises Can Improve Symptoms

It’s also important to know that exercise can help with the pain you feel as a result of DDD. While this condition might make moving around uncomfortable, there are low-impact activities that work key muscles in your back. The more muscle you can retain along your spine and lower back, the less pain you will experience in your daily life. Just make sure you talk with your doctor about what exercises can help build strength to minimize your risk of injury.

DDD Can Run in the Family

Another fact about degenerative disc disease that will surprise you is that it can run in your family. How our bodies respond to age is similar to that of our close family members. Because of this, if you have a family history of DDD, the chances that you will experience it at some point in your life are greater.

Most DDD Patients Don’t Require Surgery

Shockingly, even when you live with severe pain from DDD, it doesn’t always mean that you need to get surgery. There are many people that manage their DDD in other ways. Surgery is a great last resort for those in chronic pain, but it can also cause additional problems long term. Noninvasive methods, like exercise and medication, are better for lessening your pain and minimizing your risk of complications down the road.

Whether you’re suffering from DDD or another type of back or spinal pain, our experts at Pain and Spine Specialists will help you find the relief you need. Our pain management clinic offers a series of interventional pain management options that can help patients like you develop a game plan for mitigating your discomfort. We believe in approaching treatment from noninvasive angles first, teaching you about your condition, and providing productive coping mechanisms along the way. Contact us today to get a custom treatment plan that’s perfect for you.

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