back111.jpegDegenerative disc disease (DDD) occurs when the intervertebral discs of the spine begin to deteriorate, leading to pain, stiffness, and a decrease in flexibility. This common condition can severely impact a patient's quality of life by causing persistent discomfort and restricting routine activities.

The Physicians Spine & Rehabilitation Specialists are experts in treating DDD, offering advanced nonsurgical treatments to help patients manage their symptoms effectively. Serving the greater Atlanta area, our team is dedicated to providing personalized care to restore your mobility and alleviate pain. Schedule an appointment today to start your journey to a pain-free life.

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Keep reading to learn more about DDD, its signs and symptoms, and the nonsurgical treatment options available at The Physicians Spine & Rehabilitation Specialists.

What is Degenerative Disc Disease?

DDD is a condition that affects the intervertebral discs, which are the shock-absorbing cushions between each vertebra in the spine. These discs act as a buffer between the bones of your spine, allowing for movement and flexibility while protecting the spinal cord and nerves. Over time, your spinal disks break down, losing their shock-absorbing abilities and causing discomfort.

This can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  1. Aging: The most common cause of DDD is the natural aging process. Over time, the intervertebral discs lose water content, becoming less flexible and more prone to damage.
  2. Genetics: Some individuals may have a genetic predisposition to developing DDD, making them more likely to experience disc degeneration at an earlier age or more severely than others.
  3. Injury: Acute injuries, such as those from falls or accidents, can damage the intervertebral discs and accelerate the degenerative process.
  4. Repetitive Activities: Activities that involve repetitive stress on the spine, such as heavy lifting or prolonged sitting, can contribute to the wear and tear of the discs.
  5. Obesity: Excess body weight places additional pressure on the spine, increasing the likelihood of disc degeneration.
  6. Smoking: Smoking can impair blood flow to the discs, hindering their ability to repair and maintain themselves, thus accelerating degeneration.

Signs and Symptoms of Degenerative Disc Disease

The symptoms of degenerative disk disease may vary from person to person, depending on the location and severity of the degenerated discs. Some common signs and symptoms include:

  • Persistent pain in the neck or back
  • Stiffness or soreness in the affected area
  • Radiating pain into the arms or legs (if the affected discs are in the cervical or lumbar spine)
  • Numbness, tingling, or weakness in the arms or legs
  • Difficulty with everyday movements, such as bending, twisting, or standing for long periods

These symptoms can severely impact one's quality of life by restricting routine activities and causing constant discomfort. If you're experiencing any of these issues, consult a specialist to receive an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Nonsurgical Treatment Options

At The Physicians Spine & Rehabilitation Specialists, we offer a variety of nonsurgical treatments to help manage the symptoms of degenerative disc disease. Our goal is to alleviate pain, restore mobility, and improve your quality of life. Our treatment options include:

Epidural Steroid Injections

Epidural steroid injections involve the administration of corticosteroids into the epidural space surrounding the spinal cord. These injections are designed to reduce inflammation and provide targeted pain relief in the affected area.

By delivering medication directly to the site of discomfort, epidural steroid injections can effectively reduce inflammation and alleviate pain associated with DDD. This treatment can improve mobility and allow patients to participate in physical therapy and other activities that are crucial for managing and mitigating symptoms.

Nerve Block Injections

Nerve block injections involve the injection of anesthetic substances near specific nerves to block pain signals from reaching the brain. This procedure targets the nerves associated with the degenerated discs, offering temporary relief from chronic pain.

For patients with degenerative disc disease, nerve block injections can significantly reduce pain and inflammation, allowing them to engage more comfortably in daily activities and physical therapy. This treatment can be particularly beneficial for those experiencing severe pain that has not responded to other nonsurgical treatments, providing a crucial window for rehabilitation and recovery.

Nerve Stimulators

Nerve stimulators, also known as spinal cord stimulators, involve the implantation of a small device under the skin that sends electrical impulses to the spinal cord. These impulses interfere with the pain signals before they reach the brain, effectively reducing the sensation of pain.

This can be an effective treatment option for patients with severe DDD who have not found relief from other nonsurgical treatments. This procedure can provide long-term pain relief and improved function, allowing patients to resume their daily activities without debilitating discomfort.

Benefits of Nonsurgical Treatments

Choosing a nonsurgical treatment for degenerative disc disease offers numerous benefits, including:

  • Minimally invasive procedures with minimal downtime
  • Reduced reliance on pain medication
  • Improved mobility and function
  • Targeted pain relief at the source of discomfort
  • Fewer risks and complications compared to surgery

By finding the right combination of treatments tailored to your specific needs, you can effectively manage the symptoms of degenerative disc disease and improve your quality of life.

Tips for Managing Degenerative Disc Disease

In addition to receiving treatment from a specialist, there are also steps you can take at home to manage the symptoms of degenerative disc disease:

  1. Exercise regularly: Engaging in low-impact exercises such as walking, swimming, or yoga can help strengthen the muscles supporting your spine and improve flexibility.
  2. Maintain good posture: Proper posture can help alleviate pressure on the spine and reduce discomfort. Consider using a supportive chair or standing desk if you have a sedentary job.
  3. Use heat and ice therapy: Applying heat packs or ice packs to the affected area can provide temporary relief from pain and inflammation.
  4. Maintain a healthy weight: Excess body weight can put additional strain on the spine, so maintaining a healthy weight can help alleviate symptoms of DDD.
  5. Quit smoking: As mentioned earlier, smoking can accelerate disc degeneration and hinder the healing process. Quitting smoking can improve your overall spinal health.

Why Choose The Physicians Spine & Rehabilitation Specialists?

Choosing The Physicians means entrusting your care to a group renowned for its expertise and commitment to patient-centered care. Here are some compelling reasons to make us your healthcare choice:

  • Our team consists of fellowship-trained physicians and highly skilled therapists dedicated to providing personalized care.
  • We offer state-of-the-art technology and advanced treatment options for a wide range of conditions, including degenerative disc disease.
  • Our multidisciplinary approach ensures comprehensive evaluation and customized treatment plans tailored to your unique needs.
  • We prioritize minimally invasive procedures, resulting in faster recovery times and fewer complications.
  • Our compassionate and experienced staff strive to make your experience as comfortable and stress-free as possible.

Here's what our patients have to say about their experiences with us:

  • 'I just recently had another epidural injection performed by Dr. Raziano and his staff. I could not speak more highly of any physician that I have ever been to in my lifetime. Excellent people, excellent communication, and excellent work.' -Scott
  • 'I never have to wait a long time to be seen. The Doctor & Assistants are always pleasant & answer any questions I might have.' -Mary
  • 'Positive experience all the time. I’ve been in so much pain but my last shot has helped do much. Staff very caring.' -Barbara

Find Relief with The Physicians' Expertise!

Degenerative disc disease can cause chronic pain and impact your daily life, but there are effective nonsurgical treatments available to help manage and alleviate symptoms. By seeking treatment from experienced specialists, making lifestyle changes, and staying informed about your condition, you can effectively manage DDD and improve your overall quality of life.

AtThe Physicians, we are dedicated to providing personalized, comprehensive care to help our patients find relief from degenerative disc disease and other spine conditions. Choose us for expert care, cutting-edge technology, and a patient-centered approach.

Don't let degenerative disc disease control your life. Schedule an appointment with us today to know which treatment options are best for you!

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