A lot of people suffer from neck and back pain, and for many it's caused by degenerative disc disease. When they are diagnosed with it, many patients are shocked and worried that their condition will worse, which isn't quite true. This is because degenerative disc disease isn't precisely a disease but more the name of a set of symptoms that arise as a result of degenerated disc.
What Exactly Is Degenerative Disc Disease?
Many people mistakenly assume that degenerative disc disease is progressive, meaning that their condition will worsen over time. This is a natural assumption, considering its name, but the fact is that it isn't true. The degenerative part of the name doesn't refer to the symptoms getting worse, but to the process of a disc deteriorating in time.
The disease part of the name does little to encourage people, and many patients worry that they have some debilitating ailment, when this issue is generally a normal part of aging. No matter how much we dislike the idea, we all age, which leads to various problems. One of these problems is disc deterioration, though not everyone will experience it, and the severity of the symptoms can vary significantly from one patient to the next.
Where Does the Pain Come From?
While medical professionals tend to disagree regarding what actually constitutes a diagnosis of degenerative disc disease, they do agree on certain issues, such as what is likely to be causing the pain. Thus, it is believed the pain stems from inflammation and abnormal micromotion instability.
Inflammation is generally caused by the proteins found in the spaces between the discs of the spine, and inflammation generally leads to pain. Thus, the proteins in the lumbar space will not only cause lower back pain, but that pain will also move down into the hips, the back of the legs, and even go so far as the feet and toes.
Abnormal micromotion instability refers to the outer rings of the intervertebral disc—known as the annulus—deteriorating and leading to a lower capacity to keep the spine immobile. It's referred to as micromotion because it's rarely associated with severe instability, such as that caused by a slipped vertebral disc.
Both of these issues can cause spasms in the lower back or neck, which are simply a reflexive reaction as the body is attempting to stabilize the spine. While this reaction is not necessary to ensure the nerve roots are safe, it nevertheless occurs and can result in a lot of pain.
Degenerative Disc Disease Symptoms
There are certain degenerative disc disease symptoms that seem to be relatively consistent across the board. Thus, people with this affliction tend to experience pain mainly when performing certain activities. Furthermore, they will experience flare-ups, which then drop back down to a manageable level.
Another common symptom is for people to go through episodes of sever back or neck pain that can last anywhere from a few days to a few months before the intensity dies down to their normal chronic level of pain. This level can vary significantly from one patient to the next. The pain also seems to flare up during certain types of movements, such as when a patient lifts something, twists their body, or bends over.
Treating Degenerative Disc Disease Is Critical
It's vital for patients suffering from degenerative disc disease to treat their condition because it can lead to a significant number of other spinal problems, including spinal stenosis, osteoarthritis of the spine, and spondylolisthesis. Unfortunately, there aren't that many treatments that target the underlying problem, as most therapies are aimed at managing the condition rather than curing it.
Dr. Jeff Winternheimer, D.C. and the Illinois Back Institute, however, have developed a procedure known as Functional Disc Rehydration™, which has been proven to reverse degenerative disc disease. Not only is it effective, but it's also non-invasive, doesn't require surgery, and no drugs are involved either.
This treatment was developed as a result of Dr. Jeff Winternheimer suffering from back pain himself. The therapy is based on the fact that a damaged disc no longer contains sufficient fluid to do its job, namely for the nucleus to act as a cushion between the vertebrae. Thus, the procedure takes pressure off the vertebral discs, allowing oxygen and nutrients back into the disc's nucleus, effectively plumping it up. Subsequently, physical therapy is employed to strengthen the muscles, thereby stabilizing the spine.
In essence, Functional Disc Rehydration™ has been proven to be much more effective than surgery, and certainly involves fewer risks. For this reason, many patients suffering from degenerative disc disease have turned to Dr. Jeff Winternheimer and are more than please with their results, considering the pain has completely disappeared and they no longer have to worry about other spine problems in their future. If you are suffering from chronic back or neck pain don’t waste anymore time. For a FREE Consultation call 888-959-6823 or go on our website www.illinoisbackpain.com. You have nothing to lose but pain!