Aging and Other Stressors that Cause Degenerative Disc Diseases

2 Corinthians 4:16
“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.”

The gospel tells us there is honor in aging because the process normally increases wisdom through experiences. Yet the unsettling truth about growing old is that it is often accompanied by degeneration of the physical body. While the progression of degenerative disorders can be stalled, such conditions can prevent continued participation in normal day to day activities with the usual vim and vigor.

Let us cite as an example the degenerative disc disease, which happens as a person grows older. Actually, the condition is not a disease but is a disorder that occurs as part of the ageing process. Understand that parts of the spinal column are spinal discs lodged between vertebrae. A doctor may refer to them as intervertebral discs that function essentially as a cushion between each vertebra that makes up the spine.

What Happens When a Person Has Degenerative Disc Disease?

Whenever a person moves, the soft, gelatinous inner core of an intervertebral disc makes moving about and exerting force, as well as heaving or lifting loads less stressful on the spine.

Yet as a person goes through the years of performing different activities, the inner core of the intervertebral discs degenerates, eventually losing suppleness. As a result there will be friction between vertebrae on every spine movement, causing pain at the lumbar or base of the spine.

As the degenerative state advances when a person ages, weakness caused by numbness and pain radiating down to the thigh and leg will render that person less ambulatory. In severe cases of degenerative disc disease, the afflicted person loses his or her ability to walk about, without aid or assistance.

Aging though is not the only condition that leads to intervertebral degenerative discs. Obesity, strenuous labor, frequent physical work, tobacco smoking, or an injury, may result in disc degeneration. The resulting back pain may start as a slight discomfort that is initially manageable, but could worsen over time if stress is not alleviated and treated.

Conservative and Other Therapeutic Treatments

Conservative treatments of back pain caused by degenerative disc disorder include pain-relief medication and anti-inflammatory drugs. In special cases, the attending physician may prescribe muscle relaxers or steroids. Medical treatment may be accompanied by physical and/or occupational therapy, weight loss program or special exercises.

In severe or inexorable cases, surgery or medical options such as Lumbar Fusion, Epidural Steroid Injection, Disc Replacement Surgery or other similar advanced spinal treatment may be necessary.

Sufferers of back pain due to degenerative disc disorder residing in, or around Austin, Texas do not have to go far in seeking appropriate treatment. The Central Texas Spine Institute offers full services for spinal care, conservative treatment and surgery.