The pain and discomfort spurred by degenerative disc disease (DDD) can range from a mild irritant to downright debilitating, but regardless of the severity, no one wants to suffer the symptoms of this spinal condition. What are your chances of suffering from DDD? Unfortunately, the risk of developing the condition is quite common.
Why is Degenerative Disc Disease so Common?
You can’t escape the biggest factor for degenerative disc disease: age. The natural aging process leaves plenty of apparent wear and tear on our bodies, but the internal effects aging has on the spine inevitably lead to aches and pains. From birth, the soft rubbery discs that make up the spinal column are made mostly of water and dry out as we age. These dried-out, flattened discs no longer absorb pressure and shock as well as in our youth, triggering the pain and discomfort of degenerative disc disease.
A family history of back and spine issues associated with DDD, including pain ranging from the back and neck as well as in the buttocks and legs, has also been linked with increased risk of developing similar issues. According to a 2011 research study, individuals with a family member suffering from disc-related pain are four times more likely to experience the symptoms.
Preventable Factors of Degenerative Disc Disease
Although you cannot control the aging process or pick your family history, there are several contributing factors to DDD that are avoidable lifestyle choices and can help prevent an increased risk of the condition.
These bad habits are frequent culprits of many types of back or neck pain, but over time can result in the more permanent issues of DDD. Avoiding these factors can lower your chances of suffering from the condition:
- Poor posture when sitting or standing
- Smoking or using any type of tobacco product
- Excess weight or obesity
- Ignoring pain from injuries
- Repetitive physical activity without proper stretching or breaks
Symptoms of Degenerative Disc Disease
With the chances of suffering from DDD so common, it is important to know the symptoms and seek professional diagnosis if you are concerned about the condition. Pain caused by inflammation of the discs can strike at any point in not only the spine but also the buttocks and upper thighs. Numbness and tingling can also be symptomatic of DDD, along with stiffness or the inability to twist or bend as you were previously capable.
If you are suffering from pain or other levels of discomfort, talk with your doctor about what treatments are best, from physical therapy to injections to minimally invasive procedures.
How Can Champey Pain & Spine Can Help?
At Champey Pain & Spine Group, we make it our top priority to help our patients live a pain-free life. If you have additional questions about degenerative disc disease and would like to speak to one of our spine specialists, please contact us today by clicking the button below.