If you have back pain, it can be difficult to lift objects or even to move normally. While various issues can contribute to back pain, degenerative disc disease is a likely culprit as you get older.
This condition is technically a form of arthritis, because the spinal discs are made of cartilage and it wears down over time and with more and more activity. As a disc wears down and indeed “degenerates,” the adjacent vertebrae can rub together whenever you move your back and thereby cause back pain.
Fortunately, a pain doctor can quickly and efficiently identify your condition and address it in a way that works for you. Let’s talk about what degenerative disc disease is and where you can go in the Austin area to find relief.
What Is Degenerative Disc Disease?
The discs in your spine act as protective cushions between the vertebrae. They also enable you to bend and twist normally. As you age, these discs can wear down and lose their structural integrity, and this is also known as disc degeneration. This can allow your vertebrae to rub against one another, causing arthritis pain.
The symptoms of degenerative disc disease range from mild to severe, and the latter can be debilitating. It usually affects your lower back (lumbar spine) and possibly your neck (cervical spine). When it occurs in your neck area, it may cause radiating pain in your shoulders, arms, and hands. When it is in your lower back, pain may be felt in your buttocks, thighs, and legs.
The back pain may worsen from bending, twisting, lifting, or even just sitting. You might notice that changing positions will ease the pain.
In addition to normal wear-and-tear over time, an injury could also lead to degenerative disc disease. Once a disc is damaged, it cannot repair itself due to the limited blood supply that is classic of any area of cartilage in the body. When it doesn’t heal, it begins to deteriorate.
How Can It Be Treated?
You and your pain specialist can talk about how to stifle your back pain or neck pain, and what methods are available to treat the issue of degenerative disc disease. Depending on your personal circumstances, you may wish to consider minimally invasive spine surgery, or you may decide to simply follow a pain-relief regimen that does not involve surgery.
Pain Doctors in Austin, TX
A visit with our medical team at Balcones Pain Consultants will give you the information and the confidence you need in addressing your back pain. If you and your doctor decide that an injection treatment might work, we can even provide a pain-relief injection right here in the office. This treatment provides immediate relief that can last for weeks or even months.
Serving Austin and the surrounding region in Texas, Balcones Pain Consultants is here to help you find relief from your back pain. Contact our caring staff today by calling (512) 834-4141. You may also request an appointment easily now by filling out our online form. We look forward to helping you get back to the active lifestyle you enjoy!