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Degenerative Disc Disease

Degenerative Disc TreatmentDegenerative Disc Disorder › Degenerative Disc Symptoms

Degenerative Disc Symptoms

Degenerative Disc Disorder

Degeneration of the intervertebral discs is part of the natural ageing process. Degenerative disc disease therefore occurs as a result of ageing. However, the condition may be caused by injuries to the spinal column.

Degenerative disc disorder occurs as a result of the flattening of the intervertebral discs and subsequent narrowing of the space between the adjacent vertebrae. This results in the compression of nerves as they leave the spine which results in pain and mechanical damage of the nerves.

The flattening of the disc results from the loss of water from within the disc. This may be as result of the presence of a tear. The proteins and collagen within the disc change in chemical structure as a result of the loss of water from within the disc. The result is a rigid intervertebral disc which no longer has shock absorbing properties. The intervertebral disc flattens and loses diameter.

Degenerative Disc Symptoms Risk factors

Like many other medical conditions, there are certain factors that place people at higher risk of developing degenerative disc disorder. As degeneration is part of the natural ageing process, people over 50 are at higher risk of developing degenerative disc disorder. Those who have experienced spinal injuries or trauma to the spine are also at higher risk of developing degenerative disc disorder.

Signs and Symptoms of Degenerative Disc Disorder

Degenerative disc disorder is characterized by excruciating pain in the back region. The pain may be felt in the arms, legs or buttocks. The pain usually gets worse when sitting upright, walking, bending, twisting or lifting heavy objects. The pain is chronic therefore it develops over a long period of time. In most cases the pain is not constantly present. It occurs intermittently. Pain may be felt in a localized area or radiating from the affected area to other parts of the body.

Some people experience numbness or sensations of weakness in their arms or legs. Others may experience a tingling sensation in their limbs. In extreme cases there may be loss of urinary and sexual function as well as difficulty in walking.

Degenerative Disc Symptoms
Learn more on signs and symptoms of degenerative disc disorder.
Article published February 25th, 2011
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