Lumbar degenerative disc disease (LDDD), sometimes referred to as lumbar spondylosis is a condition in which a compromised disc in the lumbar spine or lower back causes pain due to degenerative changes. According to Spine-Health, it is estimated that 30 percent of people between 30-50 years of age have some amount of degeneration in their discs though not all experience pain. The physicians who participate in the Texas Health Spine and Orthopedic Center referral line treat a variety of spine disorders including degenerative disc disease. This blog discusses the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for lumbar degenerative disc disease.
Typically pain in the lower back that is related to lumbar degenerative disc disease is caused by inflammation and/or instability.
The small nerves in the disc and larger nerves going to the legs show the signs of inflammation, causing pain in the lower back.
Abnormal Micro-motion Instability
The annulus fibrosus, which are the outer rings of the disc, wear down over time and become ineffective in supporting stress on the spine. This can lead to spinal instability and lower back pain.
The symptoms of Lumbar DDD can vary, but some of the common ones are:
- Pain centered on the lower back
- Continuous pain in lower back for six weeks or more
- Pain that worsens when sitting
- Numbness and tingling in legs and difficulty in walking are the symptoms of severe LDDD
- Pain that is worsened by particular movements like bending forward, lifting or turning.
Non-surgical, also called conservative care, treatment options include medication to help with inflammation and pain, physical therapy and exercise. Conservative treatment options typically help most people recover from degenerative disc disease. The doctor will usually advise patients to avoid lifting heavy objects and change sleep and sitting posture. Hamstring stretching, back strengthening exercises, low impact aerobics, and heat and ice packs usually provide relief from the problem and prevent the aggravation of the condition.
If a patient does not respond to conservative treatments after 6 months, surgery may be considered. When a patient is unable to function or perform activities, the doctor might recommend either a lumbar spinal fusion surgery or artificial disc replacement surgery.
In most cases, the pain from LDDD reduces over a long period of time because a completely degenerated disc no longer has inflammatory proteins and in the majority of cases the disc collapses into a position that is stable. Back pain from osteoarthritis could, however, be a problem in later years. If you are experiencing pain in your lower back, it could be a sign of LDDD. It’s important to get in touch with a doctor for lumbar degenerative disc disease treatment in Plano or your area to help determine your treatment options. The patient navigators at Texas Health Spine and Orthopedic Center referral line can assist you in finding a spine doctor in Plano. To schedule an appointment, call 1-888-608-4762.
Physicians who are members of the referral program practice independently and are not employees or agents of Texas Health Spine and Orthopedic.