Is it possible that your back pain is caused by lumbar degenerative disc disease? Although most back pain comes from various sources (such as sleeping in an uncomfortable position or a strained muscle caused during a sporting event), it’s important to know if your pain is coming from a degenerative disc in your spine.
What is lumber degenerative disc disease? Basically, it’s a disease in the spine, or lower back, in which a compromised disc is causing low back pain.
It can be caused by simple wear and tear, or a traumatic cause – such as a car accident. Unfortunately, it is usually caused from a small injury to the disc that progresses over time.
Basically, the disc in your spine does not have enough blood supply, so it is unable to repair itself if it sustains an injury – the way that tissue injuries can. The insignificant injury can start to degenerate and wear out, causing mild pain, which becomes chronic pain over time if not treated.
The pain caused from degenerative disc disease is usually generated from one or both of two sources:
- Inflammation – causes irritation to the nerve surrounding the space around the disc. Unfortunately, both the small nerve within the disc space, as well as the larger nerves can be affected, causing pain in the legs.
- Abnormal micro-motion instability – is caused when the outer rings of the disc are worn down and can no longer absorb stress on the spine, resulting in loss of mobility.
What’s strange about degenerative disc disease is that over a long period, the disc pain eventually decreases, rather than becoming worse. Once the disc is fully degenerated, the tissue no longer becomes inflamed because the spine discs usually collapse into a stable position, eliminating the pain. Interestingly, a person suffering from back pain in their 40’s may find themselves out of pain by the time they reach their 60’s.
If you find yourself in chronic pain, it is important to see your physician so that you can be properly diagnosed and treated. However, there are a few ways to slow the degeneration process of the disc in your spine:
- Staying Active – is the single best way to heal the back. Exercising increases the flow of blood and oxygen, along with other nutrients to the discs, keeping them hydrated and pliable.
- Stretching – taking 5 minutes to stretch in the morning and 5 minutes before going to bed can increase mobility.
- Strengthening – low-impact exercise like walking, biking or swimming 3 times a week can maintain flexibility and mobility.
- Posture – degenerative discs tend to be more painful if a person is sitting for long periods of time, especially if slumped over. Try sitting upright in a chair that provides low back support
- Don’t sit too long – changing positions frequently increases blood flow and reduces stress on the back. Try standing or walking every 30 minutes to reduce lower back pain.
If you find that you are still in pain, be sure to see your physician. There are minimally invasive procedures that can help eliminate back pain completely.
No need to suffer, call Dr. Kamson today at (206) 496-0630 and obtain a professional medical opinion so that you no longer live with degenerative disc disease. It will change your life!
- Spine Health. “Lumbar Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD).” Retrieved on 11/22/2016 at http://www.spine-health.com/conditions/degenerative-disc-disease/lumbar-degenerative-disc-disease-ddd
- Spine Health. “Controlling Degenerative Disc Disease Pain: Three Things You Can Do.” Retrieved on 11/22/2016 at http://www.spine-health.com/conditions/degenerative-disc-disease/controlling-degenerative-disc-disease-pain-three-things-you-can