The round discs that separate each vertebra are considered your spinal column’s shock absorbers. Any number of conditions can develop in your discs, and among them is degeneration. Often referred to as degenerative disc disease, the changing, weakening or wearing away of discs can cause quite a lot of pain and discomfort.
DDD, in fact, is not technically a disease. While the immediate cause for the condition is not yet known, it is commonly associated with aging and the wear and tear the discs experience over the course of an average lifespan.
Depending on which disc or discs are degenerating, the symptoms of DDD can vary. Patients typically complain of lower lumbar pain, pelvic pain or pain that extends into the buttocks. If the pain extends further into the legs, it could be a sign of a different condition, such as sciatica. Degenerating discs further up the spinal column can cause mid and upper back pain, as well as pain in the neck and shoulders.
When speaking with a specialist at Atlanta Spine Surgery, take comfort in knowing that many disc disorders can be treated and managed using non-surgical options. However, be open and honest about the level of pain you’re experiencing. Tell your doctor about changes in pain associated with changes in posture or movement. After diagnosis, you and your spinal specialist will work together to create a treatment plan customized for your needs.