The 7 Signs of Degenerative Disc Disease

There are primarily two sections of the spine that can develop degenerative disc disease and they are the cervical spine region (neck) and the lumbar spine region (lower back). Common reasons responsible for a person’s development of degenerative disc disease include aging, excess stress on the affected spinal region, heredity, bad posture, weak supporting muscles, obesity and even nicotine. While the exact reason will differ from person to person, the symptoms are usually similar and here are the seven most common ones that can help you to identify the disease early on.

Incessant Pain

The most obvious symptom of degenerative disc disease is a dull, incessant pain around the affected spinal region which will at times become unbearable and absolutely debilitating. Once the pain increases in intensity, it may last for a day or more than a week.

Pain Originating from Specific Movements

Heavy lifting and actions that require bending the spine are the two main activities that can and probably will trigger or intensify the pain which originates from a degenerated disc.

Sudden Loss of Power or Mobility

If the patient is experiencing a sudden loss of power or ability to move, followed by pain and locked joints, it is probably a sign of degenerative disc disease.

Spasmodic Muscles

Tensed muscles and spasms are a clear sign that there’s something wrong with the spinal column. Even when there’s no pain originating from the affected disc, the cramps and spasms themselves can be extremely painful and will probably incapacitate the person for a few seconds or even minutes each time.

Radiating, Hot Pain

When the cervical discs or the lumbar discs are affected, the patient will feel a stabbing, hot pain radiating from one end and continuing to the other.

  • Lumbar spine region: From the hips, down to the back of the leg
  • Cervical spine region: From the neck and shoulders, to the finger tips

Pain on Holding a Position

A pain that intensifies or begins when the concerned individual is holding a single position for a while at a stretch is a sign of underlying spine related disorders. Examples include looking down at a book/cell phone/computer, staring up at the TV or the sky and looking towards the side at someone while talking.

Pain Relief in Certain Positions

The simple act of placing a pillow under the knees, or a neck pillow under the neck while lying down can bring instant relief. Also, frequent movement of the affected region (neck stretches, changing sitting positions every few minutes, short intervals from work, etc.) will help to keep the pain away as well.

Is It Treatable?

The fact is that degenerative disc disease won’t exactly kill you, but the constant pain is enough to affect every aspect of your life and severely limit you in your choice of activities. Fortunately, it is possible to control and even stop the crippling pain from ever getting out of hand, with the help of modern medicine. Being the premier London spine clinic, Complex Spine has devised a comprehensive multidisciplinary approach towards detecting, identifying, controlling and improving the condition of the patients that are suffering from spinal pain. Back pain doesn’t only originate from degrative disc disorders as there are so many other spinal conditions that can also cause pain and even nerve damage in varying degrees. The consultants help the patients to first identify the actual problem and then advise them to go for adequate treatments, as deemed necessary.

All forms of surgical options are also there to be performed when needed, but rest assured that a lot of patients return with reduced or completely controlled pain symptoms, without having to go under the knife.

Wassana Lampech

Wassana Lampech is a medical technology graduate and a freelance writer. She has been writing since her college days, and has been a freelance writer for the past 4 years. You can follow her on Twitter here: @wassmam

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