Posts Tagged disc degeneration
What is Disc Degeneration in the Context of the Spine? KBNI Houston, Memorial City, Woodlands, Sugarland, Pearland, Katy, Spring, Conroe, Beaumont, Baytown
Posted by admin in anti-inflammatory, arthritis, back pain, baytown, beaumont, chiropractic, chiropractor, core strengthening exercise, degenerative disc disease, disc degeneration, exercise, facet joint, houston, low back pain, nerve compression, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory, NSAID, osteoarthritis, pain, Pearland, strengthening, Tomball, woodlands on August 19, 2015
What is Disc Degeneration in the Context of the Spine?
Degenerative disc disease (disc degeneration) has proven to be a frightening diagnosis for many members of the public. Our spinal discs (the shock-absorbing pads between our vertebrae) are essential for a high quality of life. They cushion the load-bearing stress on the spinal column and along with the facet joints (the joints between our vertebrae) spinal discs help allow for the spinal column’s articulation during routine motion.
Over time, however, the spinal discs naturally degenerate (degenerative disc diseease) , becoming thinner, harder, drier, and less capable of absorbing shock. This means that vertebrae in the spinal column move closer together, placing nearby spinal nerves at a higher risk for compression. Degenerated spinal discs also directly impact a back pain patient’s mobility, given that the discs act somewhat like the shocks and suspension on an automobile a person with compromised discs is going to move more slowly and have a smaller range of motion.
Problems also surface when back pain patients are diagnosed with degenerative disc disease. Patients may be frightened at the condition getting worse to the point of paralysis or greatly decreased mobility. While advanced damage in your spinal discs is indeed cause for concern, there are many steps patients can take to mediate back pain and improve their quality of life as they age. First, don’t give up simply because of your diagnosis. Disc degeneration is a natural process. Degenerative disc disease (disc degeneration) simply means your degeneration has progressed more quickly than is the norm.
Additionally, there are many steps patients can take at home to make sure they retain an acceptable range of motion and low-to-moderate pain levels. First, consider using over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen to mediate back pain when it reaches acute levels. Pain medication will provide temporary relief and restore mobility by reducing inflammation (anti-inflammatory effects) along the spinal column (which, in a person with advanced degeneration of their spinal discs, will also help in relieving pressure on spinal nerves). A physical therapy or chiropractic regimen emphasizing core-strengthening exercises is also essential. Strong muscles throughout the torso and along the spinal column will relieve pressure from compromised spinal discs and help reduce the possibility for compressing spinal nerves. Patients also have the advantage of continuing these physical therapy / chiropractic exercises at home for an indefinite period of time, reducing medical costs and helping to maintain their mobility while reducing the possibility of further damage to the spinal discs themselves. Finally, physical therapy is an essential component in a healthy lifestyle that keeps weight at optimum levels, reducing the load-bearing stress on spinal discs and facet joints. Maintaining a healthy weight will further reduce the possibility of additional damage, while an unhealthy weight will increase the potential for nerve damage.
Physicians at the Kraus Back and Neck Institute treat patients with degenerative disc disease (disc degeneration). The Kraus Back and Neck Institute (KBNI) in Houston TX cares for patients in Houston and the surrounding areas, including Sugarland, Woodlands, Katy, Spring, Sealy, Baytown, Pearland, Beaumont, Galleria, Conroe, Humble, Kingwood, Port Arthur, Galveston, Texas Medical Center (TMC), Tomball and other Texas TX cities including Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio and Austin. In most cases, non-surgical treatments are available, reserving surgery for those patients in whom conservative treatments do not provide sufficient pain relief.
If you have SUFFERED AN INJURY, you can contact the Kraus Back and Neck Institute at
……. Or visit www.SpineHealth.com to schedule an appointment online
……. KBNI VIDEO
Keywords: spinal discs, back pain, spinal nerves, physical therapy, degenerative disc disease, disc degeneration, Houston, Memorial City, Woodlands, Sugarland, Pearland, Katy, Spring, Conroe, Beaumont, Baytown
Between each vertebra of the spinal column there is a semi-flexible disc that acts as a shock absorber for the body. The intervertebral discs help in load-bearing work, as well as any activity requiring movement or flexion of the spine. Over time, these discs naturally degrade (disc degeneration), but injuries, poor diet, weight gain, repetitive stress, or structural deformities can all accelerate the degenerative process. Sufficient trauma may cause the disc to rupture—a serious condition that can cause the two surrounding vertebrae to compress spinal nerves, causing extreme pain and possible muscle weakness and loss of sensation. Expert doctors / neurosurgeons / spine surgeons at the Kraus Back and Neck Institute in Houston, TX have a vast amount of experience in treating patients with pain related to disc degeneration, degenerative disc disease , neck pain, low back pain, and sciatica.
If the progression of disc degeneration is significantly faster than normal, the patient may have a structural deformity that is contributing to the problem. A thorough medical exam is advised, during which the attending physician may advise several imaging tests to accurately diagnose the cause of the accelerated degeneration. Typically, the most advanced degeneration occurs in the lumbar and sacral regions of the spine (low on the spinal column), due to the constant load-bearing stress placed on these intervertebral discs in the standing and sitting positions. Dr. Gary Kraus and Dr. Masaki Oishi, neurosurgeons at the Kraus Back and Neck Institute in Houston, find that most patients suffering from herniated disc of the lumbar spine and cervical spine, can be treated without the need for an operation. Very often, the pain of the low back or neck pain, and any associated radicular symptoms such as sciatica, often improve without surgical treatment.
Patients who are extremely active in sports or manual labor may find that drastic changes to their daily lifestyle are necessary. A regimen of physical therapy will offer instruction in new lifting techniques, as well as core strengthening exercises that will help develop the muscles of the torso. As core strengthening improves, the network of muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the torso will begin to relieve some of the load-bearing stress from the spine.
More severe cases of disc degeneration may necessitate surgical procedures. Modern advancements in medical technology have improved the artificial disc to the point that it can mimic a natural disc both in function and durability. Other surgical procedures—such as spinal fusion—may be used in severe cases of disc degeneration to reduce the possibility of compressed spinal nerves. Many of these procedures are quite costly and have lengthy rehabilitation periods, however, so they are often advised only when absolutely necessary to improve the quality of a patient’s daily life.
Patients in Houston, as well as other parts of Texas and the United States, are welcome to contact the Kraus Back and Neck Institute, for treatment of their degenerative disc disease, or any other low back pain, neck pain, or sciatica.
The Kraus Back and Neck Institute is very convenient to, and routinely treats patients in Houston, Katy, Memorial, Westchase, Inner Loop, Galleria, the Woodlands, Sugar Land, Conroe, Beaumont, Tomball, and Galveston.
Keywords: Houston, physical therapy, disc degeneration, spinal column, core strengthening, sciatica, Katy, Memorial, Westchase, Inner Loop, Galleria, the Woodlands, Sugar Land, Conroe, Beaumont, Tomball, and Galveston