What is Degenerative Disc Disease?
Human spine is made up of 33 vertebrae which are stacked on top of each other. Between each of these vertebra there are padding substances called discs which act as cushions and helps the spine to bend forward, backward and to do the normal activities. The outer portion of a disc annulus fibrosus is made up of tough material whereas the inner part nucleus pulposus is made up of a jelly like substance. As years and decades pass the disc degenerates causing rapture or fragments in the outer part of the disc. The jell like substance in the inner part of the disc flows to this cracks and results in bulges.
What are the Symptoms of Degenerative Disc?
Many persons who have regenerated disc are not showing any symptoms. Others feel intense pain which makes it difficult for them to carry out the daily activities of life. Numbness of legs or arms is another symptom experienced by patients with degenerative discs. Generally regenerative disc refers to the condition of degeneration of disc as stated above which spreads to other discs also. Usually degenerative disc starts with a major injury accompanied by severe pain or a minor injury followed by unexpected back pain or with a slight back pain which increases gradually and becomes sever.
The discs between the vertebrae consist mainly of water. As years pass the water content in the discs reduce. This is one of the causes of disc regeneration. The other cause is the small cracks developing in the outer part of the disc known as annulus fibrosus, where the gelatin like substance from the inner part of the disc flows in. Doctors can diagnosis disc degeneration by studying the symptoms felt by the patient and by checking the patients muscle strength by examining the body of the patient or by palpation which means asking the patient to move his body in special ways and touching the relevant parts of the body and understanding the conditions of the muscles. CT scan, MRI scan, Discogram etc are also made use of for diagnosing the degenerative disc disease.
What are the treatments for Degenerative Disc Disease?
Degenerative disc disease can be treated with various options such as:
Reclining or kneeling
Intradiscal electrothermal annuloplasty
Spinal fusion or stabilization surgery
- Stem cell therapy
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