Degenerative Disc Disease

Degenerative Disc Disease

What is it?

This condition is not a disease, but rather the natural degeneration in the discs between the vertebrae caused by age. This can lead to other conditions, such as neck pain, herniated discs, osteoarthritis and more.

Causes, Symptoms and Risk Factors

Degenerative disc disease is most common in the lower back and neck. It causes pain or numbness that may occur in the neck, back, arms or legs, and may affect nerve function. People at particular risk:

  • Have had a neck or back injury
  • Smoke
  • Are overweight
  • Often participate in physical activities that require heavy lifting

Tests

A doctor will diagnose degenerative disc disease by conducting a physical examination, and reviewing symptoms and medical history.

Treatments

Basic treatments of degenerative disc disease include:

  • Icing or applying heat
  • Taking anti-inflammatory medications

However, treatment also depends on whether the degenerative disc disease has caused other conditions, such as osteoarthritis or a herniated disc.

Have Questions?

Call St. Luke's
Orthopaedic Specialists

Allentown,
Bethlehem,
Easton,
Wind Gap:
484-526-1735

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570-645-1835

Phillipsburg:
908-859-8884

Quakertown:
267-424-8850

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