5 Ways Disc Degeneration Provokes Back Pain With Age
Back pain is one of the most common forms of pain that patients mention to their doctors. If you have back pain, you must tell your doctor because you could be experiencing disc degeneration symptoms. Disc degeneration is a common issue that many people suffer from, especially as we age.
As you grow older, your body naturally begins to weaken, including your spine. You may experience spinal disc degeneration and its complications as a result.
Types of Disc Degeneration Complications
Disc degeneration is the physical weakening of the discs between your spine’s vertebrae. As you age, your discs are at risk of weakening under the pressure of the vertebrae. The pain resulting from weakened discs can take many forms. Here are the most common complications people may experience when dealing with disc degeneration.
1. Spinal Stenosis
Spinal stenosis is generally associated with the wear and tear your spine undergoes with aging. As your discs degenerate, the gaps where the disks are located become smaller. The top and bottom vertebrae begin to close in this gap, creating a narrowing of the spine. A narrowed spine can result in significant pressure on areas throughout your spine. The most common places where you may feel pressure or pain are in the neck or lower back.
2. Herniated Disc
When a disc is weakening, it can rupture and leak into the spinal canal, causing immense pain and pressure on your back. Several factors can cause a herniated disc, from lifting heavy weights to being overweight. If you have a herniated disk, common symptoms can include leg foot and arm pain, numbness or muscular weakness. Some patients may experience no symptoms at all.
3. Degenerative Spondylolisthesis
When a vertebra slides forward on top of another vertebra, that is called degenerative spondylolisthesis. If the misplaced vertebra moves too far ahead, it can create leg pain and numbness. This complication is typically related to aging, although athletes are also at risk. If you have degenerative spondylolisthesis, you can experience lower back and leg pain, numbness and struggle to stand for long periods of time.
4. Degenerative Scoliosis
Degenerative scoliosis occurs when the spine is abnormally curved, and the spaces between the degenerative discs fall. Symptoms of this complication include leg pain, numbness and muscle weakness. Without proper attention, medication or exercise, degenerative scoliosis can cause a great deal of pain and damage to the spine.
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease in your spine. When your discs degenerate, the stress that the discs were meant to handle can be distributed to other parts of the spine, such as the facet joints. Too much pressure on these joints can cause degeneration and, over time, osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis can be very painful because you are managing the pressure of degenerative discs and the degenerative facet joints. Symptoms may include cysts and bone spurs.
Contact Spine Institute of North America for a Consultation
If you are aging and suffering from back pain, don’t wait until your condition worsens. Spine Institute of North America has skilled physicians who can alleviate your back pain through the least invasive spine procedures. Contact us to set up a consultation today.