Odessa Degenerative Disc Disease Treatment

You can see the outside of your body aging, but the inside is also undergoing changes as the years go by. That holds true of the discs in your back, which may no longer absorb the daily shocks the body experiences as you get older.

If you believe you are experiencing the effects of degenerative disc disease, you have options available. An Odessa degenerative disc disease treatment doctor could diagnose your condition and determine the best therapy for pain relief. By providing you with an individualized treatment plan, a dedicated doctor could help you get back to your old life.

Understanding This Condition

Despite the name, degenerative disc disease is not a disease per se. It refers to the deterioration of the discs in the lower back. Intervertebral discs act as cushions between the spinal vertebrae. Each disc consists of a hard outer shell and a gel-like interior. Should the interior rupture – known as a herniated or “slipped” disc – the jelly-like substance comes out through the tear and may irritate spinal nerves.

A herniated disc is just one example of degenerative disc disease, which is an umbrella term for various issues affecting the discs. Spinal stenosis, or narrowing of the spine, is also related to this condition. Discs do not have much of a blood supply, so a degenerating disc has little ability to repair itself. Speak with an experienced doctor to learn more about this condition and available degenerative disc disease treatments in Odessa.

Symptoms of Degenerative Disc Disease

Back pain is the hallmark of degenerative disc disease, but certain symptoms may reveal degenerative disc disease rather than some other type of back disorder. These include:

  • Increased back pain when sitting
  • Numbing and tingling in the legs/feet or arms/hands
  • Pain worsening if lifting, bending or twisting
  • Pain relief when walking or running
  • Serious pain coming and going – this may last for a few days to a few months
  • Foot drop – a possible indication of nerve damage

Pain from degenerative disc disease ranges from mild and annoying to severe and completely debilitating.

Causes of this Disease

Aging is the primary reason for degenerative disc disease. At birth, discs contain roughly 80 percent water. Aging dries out the discs. Back trauma can also result in degenerative disc disease.

People who are overweight or engage in a lot of physical work are also more likely to experience the pain of degenerative disc disease. However, while everyone will experience disc degeneration over time, not everyone will experience pain.

Diagnosing and Treating this Disease in Odessa

An Odessa degenerative disc disease treatment doctor will perform a physical examination and take a complete medical history of the patient. They may then order an MRI to view damage to the discs and X-rays to see the spinal bone structure.

Conservative therapy for degenerative disc disease includes hot and cold treatments, the use of over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) for pain relief, and an exercise regimen recommended by the doctor. If conservative therapy does not offer relief, the doctor may inject steroids epidurally for longer-term pain treatment.

For some patients, these treatments may not work and surgery may prove necessary for pain relief. This may include a minimally invasive procedure known as a discectomy, in which the disc is removed along with related material, such as bone spurs, which compress on the nerves. In more serious cases, a spinal fusion is necessary to stabilize the spine.

Let an Odessa Degenerative Disc Disease Treatment Doctor Help

The first step to treating your back pain is to talk to an experienced doctor. They can run diagnostic tests to determine what Odessa degenerative disc disease treatment may be able to help you get back to the activities you enjoy. If you are ready to get started, call today to set up an appointment.