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Degenerative Disc Disease at NJ Spine and Wellness

Your spine consists of small bones called vertebrae. Between each vertebra is a disc that helps protect the spine and absorb the shocks of everyday life. As we age, our spinal discs degenerate, becoming smaller and weaker. While some level of disc degeneration is a normal part of aging, degenerative disc disease (DDD) is a condition in which this natural degeneration leads to pain, stiffness, and other serious conditions.

Types of Degenerative Disc Disease

There are three types of DDD, each categorized by the location of the disc damage. Depending on the kind of DDD you have, the symptoms you experience may vary.

Lumbar Degenerative Disc Disease

Lumbar degenerative disc disease is the most common type of DDD and affects the discs in the lower back. Symptoms of lumbar degenerative disc disease include:

  • Muscle weakness
  • Lower back pain radiating to the buttocks, legs, and feet
  • Numbness and tingling sensations
  • Sciatica

Cervical Degenerative Disc Disease

Cervical degenerative disc disease affects the discs in the neck and is the second most common type of DDD. 

Symptoms of cervical degenerative disc disease include:

  • Occasional pain flare-ups
  • Numbness in the neck and between the shoulder blades
  • Neck stiffness
  • Radiating pain down the shoulder into the arm

In addition to these symptoms, cervical degenerative disc disease can also lead to disc herniations and other painful conditions.

Thoracic Degenerative Disc Disease

Thoracic degenerative disc disease is the rarest form of DDD and occurs along the mid-back or at the ribcage level. Common symptoms of thoracic degenerative disc disease include:

  • Pain radiating to the chest wall and ribs
  • Decreased trunk mobility
  • Muscle spasms
  • Numbness and tingling sensations

DDD typically occurs due to wear and tear from aging but can also be accelerated by trauma. When an already degenerated disc is injured, the damage can be even more severe. If you have DDD and were involved in an accident, our specialists can help you explore your treatment options.

Degenerative Disc Disease Treatments

With our innovative pain management techniques, NJ Spine and Wellness is dedicated to helping you get better faster. We offer a wide variety of treatments to help you find relief from your pain.

Conservative Degenerative Disc Disease Treatments

If you have moderate degenerative disc disease, at-home treatments such as rest, ice, and light stretching may help to relieve your symptoms.
Other conservative treatments we recommend include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Pain management

Surgical Degenerative Disc Disease Treatments

Generally, DDD does not require surgery, although severe instances of degenerative disc disease may be treated with surgical intervention, including:

  • Discectomy
  • Spinal fusion
  • Artificial disc replacement

Just because DDD is a normal part of aging doesn’t mean you need to live in pain. Whether you’re suffering from moderate to severe degenerative disc disease, our specialists at NJ Spine and Wellness want to help you get the right treatment for your condition.

Take The First Step Towards Getting Better, Faster

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