Aging is a part of normal life for every living human being, each day spent is a day aged more in their life span. But with aging comes problems related to old age and bodily functions. Degenerative disk disease involves the spinal cord, which travels from the brain through the back and proves the key structure in the nervous system has small bones called vertebrates. There are cushion-type disks available between every two vertebrates, allowing the body to move, bend, and twist as one wants to.
With old age, or maybe due to several other reasons, the cushioning disks between the vertebrates start to degenerate, causing the vertebrate bones to rub with each other causing pain, discomfort, stiffness, or weakness in the patient. Although this disease is related to old age and with coming age, everyone will have to face these problems, but some people face this problem way before the time due to some reasons which lead the cushioning to degenerate before the right age. However, the treatment in both cases has two options, non-surgical treatments such as physical therapy and medication specially dedicated for the disease, or surgical treatments such as facet joint injections.
Although, this disease is related to old age. Several other factors speed up the degeneration process and make a person suffer even before reaching a certain age. These factors are:
- Sudden and severe injuries to the back, such as falling. It does not show an instant effect on the spine; instead, over time, it leads to the speeding up process of degeneration of the cushioning between the spine.
- Obesity, although it does not seem directly related or affecting the degeneration process, it is responsible for significant biochemical changes, which ultimately lead to the same result of damaging the spine and speeding up the process of degeneration.
- Smoking can also cause the discs to degenerate faster than normal because of the excess pressure and strain exerted on the spine due to excess coughing related to smoking.
- Continuously doing a physical job that puts excess strain or requires more effort by the spine can also lead to an increase in the rate of degeneration of the disks.
The symptoms of enfermedad degenerativa del disco vary from showing almost no symptoms initially to even such intense pain that the person cannot carry out any daily work independently. These variations in the symptoms of this disease make its diagnosis further difficult to be performed by own self. Some of the common symptoms and methods to diagnose this disease are:
- Pain in the spinal cord and weakness in the body are some of this disease’s earliest symptoms. The pain usually starts from the vertebrates and then radiates to all different parts of the body, thus causing an increasing level of discomfort with time.
- The diagnosis of the particular pain is associated with a particular spine movement. It is important to establish whether the pain is rooted in a particular spin movement by observing it on one’s own or the pain is related to a specific area sensitive to the touch and inflicts pain. In both cases, it is important to assess the type of pain and its relation with the body to proceed further with the diagnosis.
- After establishing a relationship between the pain and movement of the body, the patient is advised to see a doctor for further detailed imaging of the spinal cord and determination of the severity of the disease until this point. After the careful assessment and position of the discs, the doctor prescribed a suitable treatment method to which the patient must attend.