Degenerative Disc Disease

What is degenerative disc disease?

Degenerative disc disease is a common condition that is frequently treated by the chiropractors at both our Eden Prairie and Eagan locations. Discs are cartilage cushions between the bones of our spine. The discs act as shock absorbers and help keep the spine mobile. Over time the discs get thin and tear and are less absorbent than they were in youth. Nearly everyone’s discs will show signs of wear and tear as they get older. If that wear and tear causes pain, it it is diagnosed as degenerative disc disease. Common symptoms of degenerative disc disease include:

  • Pain that is worse when sitting
  • Pain that is worse with bending, lifting, or twisting
  • Pain that gets better with movement or changing positions
  • Periodic flare ups of severe pain
  • Numbness/tingling in the arms or legs

What causes degenerative disc disease?

Degenerative disc disease is caused by several factors. First, healthy discs are well hydrated. In fact, when we are born the discs are about 80% water. As we age the discs tend to dry out and become desiccated. This dehydration can lead to degeneration. Second, wear and tear plays an important role in disc degeneration as well. Activities that are hard on your neck or low back can cause micro-trauma to the disc which can eventually lead to degeneration. Third, genetics also play an important role in how likely a person is to develop disc degeneration.

How can a sports chiropractor help with degenerative disc disease?

Once a disc has degenerated it unfortunately will not heal back to it’s original state. However, that does not mean it has to continue to cause pain. Degenerative disc disease tends to cause a lot of reactive muscle spasm and changes to how patients move. Soft tissue therapies such as ART, transverse friction massage, dry needling, Graston, and FAKTR as well as joint mobilization can help provide back and neck pain relief as well as prevent problems in the future. The sports chiropractors at both the Eden Prairie and Eagan clinic locations of Premier Sports and Spine Center are uniquely trained and qualified to utilize these therapies to help patients with degenerative disc disease. In addition, our providers will teach patients rehabilitation exercises that help them gain strength and change movement patters in order to take pressure off of the degenerated discs and minimize flare ups.

If you are looking for relief from degenerative disc disease, would like to make an appointment at our Eden Prairie or Eagan clinic locations, or to discuss your condition with one of our sports chiropractors, please contact us or call our scheduling line at 952-479-0043.

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