Degenerative Disc Disease is one of the most common causes of back pain and sciatica. Most people have probably heard about it but may not really know that much about it. And if you've been diagnosed with DDD, you probably have many questions about what it is exactly. So here are 10 fast facts about Degenerative Disc Disease that everyone should know:
1. It's not actually a disease. It's a degenerative condition involving the discs in the spine.
2. Often times, degenerative discs do not cause pain or any other symptoms. But as the discs degenerate, the possibility of those problems becomes greater.
3. Degenerative Disc Disease is usually just a result of normal wear and tear on the spine over time. However, injuries can hasten the degeneration.
4. Most people over 30 already have some degree of Degenerative Disc Disease. But they may not show any symptoms of it for many years, if they do at all.
5. Some common symptoms of DDD include pain that comes and goes and can be severe, that can occur anywhere from the neck down into the legs, and pain that gets worse when you sit, bend over, twist, or lift anything.
6. Having Degenerative Disc Disease can lead to a greater chance in developing herniated or bulging discs, arthritis in the spine, and spinal stenosis.
7. For many people suffering from Degenerative Disc Disease, walking or even running can help alleviate the pain. But the most effective way to relieve the pain is to lay down because this removes all the weight and pressure from the problem area.
8. Although having DDD means your discs will continue to break down over time, your pain and other symptoms will generally stay the same throughout.
9. Some people with long term Degenerative Disc Disease may experience something called a "degenerative cascade." This is where after a long period of chronic back pain due to a degenerative disc, the body may re-stabilize the area which leads to less pain. But this can take 20 to 30 years!
10. DDD can be very painful and debilitating, but is usually not life threatening. However, in very rare occasions it can lead to serious complications. If you experience a loss in control of your bladder and/or bowels, the pain continues to worsen, or if you experience numbness, pain, or weakness in your legs, you should seek medical attention immediately.
At the Illinois Back Institute we strive to educate everyone as much as possible about their back pain and sciatica, because it is proven that the more people know about their problem the more likely they are to eliminate it!
All content is protected by the usual copyright laws and cannot be used, stolen or reproduced for any purpose without Illinois Back Institute permission. Please feel free to call about anything although we are unable to give advice on any specific injuries or conditions over the phone.