With age, the body experiences degradation in almost every aspect. One of these aspects is the degeneration of the discs in the spine. This is also known as Herniated disk disease. There are many complications that can arise due to the discs’ deterioration for all parts of the spine.
Cervical degenerative disc disease refers to the wear and tear of the cushioning discs in the cervical spine. This causes neck pain and pain in the arms and shoulders. These diseases are usually related to age, but some individuals may experience accelerated wear and tear due to genetic predispositions. There are six cervical discs between each of the cervical spine bones that help absorb shock. These discs prevent the bones from rubbing against one another during neck movement. The discs are made up of rigid and flexible cartilage that contains muco-protein gel. This gel gives the discs their shock-absorbent properties. As the discs lose hydration, they offer less cushioning and are less effective at performing their function. This can cause pain in the neck, difficulty with movements, and inflammation.
A similar condition can occur in the middle back. This is referred to as Thoracic disc degenerative disease. If thoracic disc herniate near the spinal canal, the gel-like substance can push into it. This can lead to more severe complications as one of the first signs of a herniated disk in the mid-back region is paralysis below the waist. In addition depending on the severity of herniation, a patient may experience pain, discomfort, numbness, and have motor and sensory deficits . Patient may have pain that radiates to the legs causing numbness/tingling in the legs, and weakness of the leg muscles.
Lumbar Herniated disk refers to a similar disease in the lower back. Herniation here has similar effects as the ones seen in thoracic herniation. Lower back pain, muscle spasms and radiating pain in the legs, sensory or motor loss are usual symptoms.
Treatment involves a consultation with a pain physician, in acute cases application of ice can help reduce the reduce the pain experienced by the patient. Pain medication and muscle relaxants may also be prescribed. Physical therapy can also help reduce the intensity of the discomfort. Epidural injections or surgery may be required in severe cases. Call us for consultation at 570-323-3106 if you suffering from this problem.