Lumbar Degenerative Disease

Lumbar Degenerative Disease is also known as Disc Degeneration. This condition typically occurs due to general wear and tear, or from a minor external injury. Discs rarely degenerate due to a major traumatic event like a car accident or a big fall. More often, it is a long-term condition that slowly grows over time. Although many people are initially worried about disc degeneration due to its strong name, most cases are common, natural, and do not cause pain. Around 30% of people between the ages of 30 to 50 experience some form of disc degeneration.

Painful Causes

When lumbar degenerative disease does cause pain, it is usually due to one of two reason. First, joints can inflame when the proteins of the degenerated disc start pressing on or irritating the surrounding nerves. Spine instability is the second cause. Discs are made up of layers, and when the outer layers wear out enough, the spine may not be able to absorb stress as well as it should. The combination of inflammation and misalignment can bring stiffness and difficulty moving.

Symptoms

When a degenerative disc causes pain, most patients rank it on a lower scale than other back pain conditions, though it may intensify during a several day period. The usual symptoms that patients experience include:

  • Pain in the lower back that consistently lasts for over six weeks.
  • Pain caused by twisting, lifting or bending a certain way.
  • Pain described more as aching rather than stinging or burning.
  • Pain that intensifies when sitting down, due to the discs facing more pressure than if a patient were standing.
  • For more severe cases, a patient’s legs may start numbing or tingling, making it difficult to walk.

Treatment

If left alone for long enough, a patient may be able to wait out the pain caused by a degenerated disc. When a disc completely wears out, the proteins that cause the inflammation also go away. However, severe enough cases of pain can interfere with daily tasks, so much so that some may not be able to go to work or take care of their family. There may also be no clear timeline on when the pain will stop. If you need to look into how to help alleviate pain due to lumbar degenerative disease, you have several surgical and non-surgical treatments available. Learn which treatment is best for you by setting an appointment with our pain experts at Garden State Pain Center. Contact us today at one of our New Jersey locations.