Degenerative disc disease (DDD) is an extremely prevalent cause of back pain, immobility, and decreased quality of life. By the time they turn 20, about 37 percent of people in the US will have some evidence of disc degeneration on an MRI, a number that steadily increases with age. While DDD is a result of normal wear and tear on the back, it can cause back pain and neuropathic pain elsewhere in the body which can be very severe.
The ultimate cause of degenerative disc disease is loss of water and fibrous material in the intervertebral discs, the cartilaginous “shock absorbers” of the spine. Natural forces acting on the discs and minor injuries over time build up and cause the discs to collapse, narrowing the gap between the vertebrae and leading to potential issues such as disc herniation and impinged nerves.
There is no cure for the degeneration of intervertebral discs – but physical therapy has been shown to greatly reduce pain and increase mobility in many cases. At JAG-ONE PT, we’re the NY, NJ, and PA area’s experts in physical therapy treatment for the spine. Our therapists will work with you to develop an individualized care plan that fits your lifestyle and that treats your symptoms efficiently. Delaying treatment for degenerative disc disease means living with pain and inconvenience for longer – we can help you find relief, sometimes starting right away.
Degenerative Disc Disease Symptoms
The overall symptoms of degenerative disc disease involve back pain, but they can manifest in many types and severities, as well as causing other musculoskeletal and neurological concerns. Learn more about these below, or schedule an appointment with JAG-ONE PT today to get your DDD evaluated.
Pain When Sitting
The location and severity of DDD pain depends on where the affected discs are, as well as how much pressure is placed on the spine and nerves. One of the most common hallmarks of DDD, however, is pain and discomfort resulting from sitting, which can negatively impact the working life of office workers as well as causing people of all lifestyles pain when at home.
Pain from Certain Kinds of Motion
The pain from degenerative disc disease can also worsen from bending, lifting, or twisting, making everyday tasks difficult. People with degenerative disc disease also report difficulties doing manual work of any kind and performing home improvement.
Numbness and Tingling
If a person who’s been diagnosed with DDD reports numbness or tingling, this is a sign that their nerves have been compressed. More pressure on the nerve roots over time can result in more severe complications, so this is a reason to seek treatment right away.
Degenerative disc disease near the spinal nerves that serve the legs can result in leg muscle weakness or drop foot, affecting the ability to walk.
Degenerative Disc Disease Diagnosis
If a person presents with DDD symptoms, their physician will conduct a physical examination of their back to look for signs of muscle weakness, tenderness, reduced range of motion, and other outward signs. Imaging such as an X-ray will be needed to confirm diagnosis by viewing the condition of the intervertebral discs themselves.
Degenerative Disc Disease Treatment in NY, NJ, and PA
At JAG-ONE PT, the treatments we offer for cases of degenerative disc disease work in concert to help your back get healthier as quickly as possible. We use overall spine rehabilitation methods to increase strength and flexibility, manual therapy including medical massage to relieve pain, and, if you require surgery, pre- and post-operative physical therapy to make sure your operation goes smoothly and you can recover quickly, among other therapeutic techniques.
See a Physical Therapist to Treat or Prevent Degenerative Disc Disease
JAG-ONE PT has over 100 convenient clinic locations – no matter where you are in the tri-state area, there’s a JAG-ONE PT location near you and ready to help. Or, our teletherapy program can provide you with convenient DDD rehabilitation in the comfort of your home. Don’t delay – find your nearest location or book a teletherapy appointment.