Degenerative Disc Disease Treatment

Degenerative disc disease occurs when the discs between the vertebrae of your spine begin to break down. Pain and Spine Specialists is the best place to go for degenerative disc disease treatment in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Call us today to schedule an appointment.

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What Is DDD (Degenerative Disc Disease)

DDD, or degenerative disc disease, is a spinal condition that is caused by the natural wear and tear of aging. This is one of the most common causes of people experiencing lower back and neck pain.

The discs in our body act as shock absorbers for your spine, and when they degenerate, they can no longer provide that function. This can lead to pain and other issues. 

At Pain & Spine Specialists, we have the best doctors for degenerative disc disease. Our team of degenerative disc disease treatment specialists is well-trained and experienced in treating such conditions. We offer different treatment options depending on the severity of your condition. Once we are through with the examination and diagnosis, our specialists will create a customized treatment plan just for you.

The goal of our degenerative disc disease doctor is to help you find relief from your pain and get back to your life as soon as possible and help you maintain a pain-free lifestyle.

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A xray image of a back suffering from Degenerative Disc Disease

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I LOVE LOVE LOVE this office. I was helping my mom find a place for her arthritis pain, and I explained to them how bad it was. They were able to schedule me the same week! That's almost impossible at any doctor's office...and then add COVID..... I was thrilled. I took my mom, and everyone was absolutely so sweet and kind

- Donyasha B.

Dr. Rao. I can't find the words to tell you how much he has meant to me. I followed him from an old practice to his very new high tech office. They offer so many different areas of assistance to those with issues from nutrition to spinal surgery...and much more. His office is professional.

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Dr. Roa is such an amazing doctor! During my first visit he never tried to rush through my appt., he genuinely listened to all my concerns and then took his time to explain to me in detail all his recommendations and how they would help me.

- Nikki Walker

In the 3 years as a patient of Dr. Rao, it is my opinion that he is a phenomenal and extraordinary doctor. He keeps up to date with the latest treatment options, will sacrifice time no matter how many are in the waiting room to listen and explain. Dr. Rao has treated multiple patients with rare illnesses, and shows more empathy than any Dr. I’ve met.

- Mom To2

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I have now been with Dr. Rao for 13 years. He is the most caring Doctor I have ever been to! Dr. Rao makes you feel very comfortable at all times. I would not want to go to any other Doctor... I go to the Hagerstown location, everyone is very nice

- Theresa R.

The entire staff from the folks at the front desk to the Nurse, to the Physicians Assistant to the scribe that records the visit for the doctor - (great idea so the Doctor can focus on the patient!!!)

- NVA F.

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Completely the best care you could want the staff is so pleasant and caring and the doctors have true heart for healing, love being a patient here would give 10 stars if I could & absolutely the most caring during my procedure with Dr B

- Cathern C.

Always friendly, courteous, and efficient service. From the ladies, who work the front desk, to the nurses and the doctors. I've always had a good experience with the Harrisonburg office in Virginia.

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They scheduled my appointment very quickly so that I can get to help that I needed immediately instead of like most places having to wait two to three weeks to get in I called and was able to be seen the next day

- John H.

After transitioning from a pain and spine doctor in Columbia, MD.. The intake staff member at Pain and Spine Specialist made the scheduling a breeze. They were able to get me in within a week.

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What Causes Degenerative Disc Disease

As we age, our spinal discs tend to deteriorate. The jelly-like center of the discs begin to dry out and shrink, while the outer layer may become thinner or rupture. These changes cause the discs to become less flexible and more susceptible to injury. For most people, the spine starts to degenerate between the ages of 20 and 25. However, the symptoms and pain associated with degenerative disc disease (DDD) usually don’t present themselves until later in life. You can learn more about the stages of degenerative disc disease here.

The thoracic degenerative disc disease is when the thoracic spine or the upper and middle back is affected. The discs in this area of the spine do not flex or move as much as those in the neck and lower back. Simply put, the wear and tear on the spinal disc causes them to degenerate over time. This is a natural part of the aging process, but it can be accelerated by other factors, such as obesity, sedentary lifestyle, and injury.

Aging causes the spinal disk to not function as what it is supposed to be. Other causes may also include:

  • Dryed out core — The soft core of the disks are seen to have water content that decreases as a person ages. As it loses water, the disks get thinner and start to bulge. The natural absorption it provides also tends to decrease, resulting in a less flexible spine. The less flexible the spine, the harder it is for someone to do normal activities or to even move.
  • Cracks — Cracks can occur due to any type of injury or trauma to the spine. Even small cracks can be painful as tears are usually near the nerves. The compression of the spinal nerve caused by herniated disk or the bulging of the disk can also put pressure on the spinal cord and nerves.

Symptoms Of Degenerative Disc Disease


Pain in the back and the neck is the most common indication of degenerative disc disease.

Here are some other cases where the pain you are experiencing can be a sign of this condition:

  • The pain usually points in the lower back and the buttocks. Some cases include pain in the upper thigh.
  • The pain comes and goes and does not stay in one place for a long time. However, this pain can last for days or weeks at a time. In the worst cases, it takes months for the pain to go away.
  • The pain gets worse when you are sitting or standing for a long time. It also gets worse when you twist or bend your back.
  • Sharp pain when bending and lifting heavy objects.
  • Pain often gets better when in the right posture or when lying down.
A human spine showing signs of disc degeneration

Things To Avoid With Degenerative Disc Disease

There are some people that experience the signs and symptoms of degenerative disc disease, but they do not experience any pain. However, for most people, the condition does cause pain. The pain can range from mild to severe, and it may come and go, or be constant. The pain is usually worse with activity and improves with rest. If you have degenerative disc disease, it is important to know what activities, positions, and movements to avoid in order to prevent pain flare-ups.

Poor Posture

Poor posture is notorious for causing all sorts of pain, including back pain. When you sit or stand with poor posture, it puts unnecessary strain on your spine, which can lead to pain. Not only can it cause degenerative disc disease but it can also lead to other spinal conditions. Not to mention it can strain your muscles and ligaments that support your spine leading to even more pain.

Soda & Alcohol

The phosphoric acid in soda can lead to bone loss and osteoporosis, which can make degenerative disc disease worse. Alcohol, on the other hand, acts as a diuretic that can make the symptoms of degenerative disc disease, such as pain and inflammation, worse.


Smoking also is a diuretic that can speed up the degeneration of the discs in your spine. In addition, smoking decreases the blood flow to your spine, which means it gets less oxygen and nutrients. This can also lead to more pain and other issues.

Degenerative Disc Disease Work Restrictions

As DDD is directly related to the aging process and natural wear-and-tear of the spine, there are no definitive work restrictions. However, if you have pain associated with degenerative disc disease, your doctor may recommend avoiding certain activities or positions that aggravate your pain. These restrictions will be based on your individual symptoms and needs. But in general, it is best to avoid jobs that require you to lift heavy objects, bend frequently, or twist your back. Physical activities such as sports that involve impact or jarring motions should also be avoided to prevent pain flare-ups.

Maintaining a healthy weight that is proportionate to your height is also important and highly impacts your spine health. Excess weight can put a strain on your spine and make the symptoms of degenerative disc disease worse.

Can Degenerative Disc Disease Be Reversed

Unfortunately, degenerative disc disease cannot be reversed. However, there are treatments that can help relieve the pain and other symptoms associated with the condition. Start with the most basic — lifestyle changes and home remedies. This includes, but is not limited to, maintaining a healthy weight, practicing good posture, exercising regularly, and avoiding activities and positions that aggravate your pain. Conservative therapies can also help, such as physical therapy, yoga, and chiropractic care. If these methods do not provide relief, your doctor may recommend medication or surgery.

Degenerative Disc Disease Treatments

Thankfully, there are many treatments available for DDD. Some old and new procedures for degenerative disc disease are:

Nonsurgical Treatments

Home remedies such as enough rest, hydrotherapy, exercise, heat/cold application, and over-the-counter or prescription medications can help alleviate the pain. Some people also opt for chiropractic care and physical therapy.

Surgical Treatments

If the pain is severe and doesn’t go away with nonsurgical treatments, surgery may be recommended. One example procedure is the discectomy where the injured part of the disk is removed. In some cases, the whole disk may be removed and totally replaced with an artificial disk.


Another common treatment for degenerative disc disease is the use of steroids. They are usually injected into the space around the spinal cord to reduce inflammation and pain. It is seen as an effective, but not permanent, solution.

Best Degenerative Disc Doctors Maryland

At Pain & Spine Specialists, we have the best doctor for degenerative disc disease. Our team of degenerative disc doctors is well-trained and experienced in treating such spine disorder conditions. We offer different treatment options depending on the severity of your condition. Once we are through with the examination and diagnosis, our specialists will create a customized treatment plan just for you.

Our goal is to help you find relief from your pain and get back to your life as soon as possible and help you maintain a pain-free lifestyle.

Our Degenerative Disc Disease Treatments in Maryland

As your one-stop shop for degenerative disc disease treatment in Maryland, Pain & Spine Specialists offers the latest and most effective treatments. We make sure to carry diverse treatment options to cater to the different needs of our patients.

Spinal Cord Stimulation

One of the most sought-after treatments for degenerative disc disease is spinal cord stimulation. It is a minimally invasive way to target pain at its source. Using mild electrical pulses, this treatment interrupts the pain signals before they reach the brain. This is an ideal treatment if you are experiencing chronic pain and if other treatments do not suffice. You will undergo an assessment to know if SCS is the best treatment for you.

Injection Therapies

We have an extensive list of injection therapies that can help with degenerative disc disease. We have epidural injections, facet injections, trigger point injections, and many other types of injections that can help with the pain. Just like SCS, we will assess your condition first to decide which of our injection therapies will work best for your unique case.

Schedule an Appointment

If you’re unsure whether you have a degenerative disc disease or not, it is best to get a diagnosis from a professional. Call (301) 703-8767 to schedule an appointment with a degenerative disc disease expert today.

Degenerative Disc Disease Specialists

At Pain and Spine Specialists, our team of Degenerative Disc Disease doctors are committed to giving you the most effective treatment when treating your pain. We believe that all patients should have access to exceptional and compassionate care. 

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At Pain and Spine Specialists, our team of physicians and nurse practitioners are committed to giving you the most effective treatment when treating your pain. We believe that all patients should have access to quality care, and that is why you can find us conveniently located throughout Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

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Please note: We accept Workers Compensation Insurance and Personal Injury Patients 

Please note: We accept Workers Compensation Insurance and Personal Injury Patients 

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