Degenerative disc disease (DDD) is a condition that is technically not a disease, but rather a natural development of wear and tear in the discs of your spine.
The discs in your spine serve as cushions between your vertebrae. They absorb shock from impact and prevent the vertebrae from grinding against one another. With DDD, the discs grow stiffer, which prevents them from functioning properly. When this happens, pain develops in your spine and you may have a limited range of motion.
It’s possible to treat the pain caused by DDD and improve your range of motion, but the condition itself cannot be cured or reversed.
Does everyone have DDD?
Since DDD is the natural wear and tear on your discs, you may be wondering if it affects everyone or just some people. In short, it’s best to understand DDD as having the potential to affect everyone.
Some people live their entire lives without feeling the effects of their discs wearing down. Others may develop DDD much earlier in life. Factors that contribute to the development of DDD include:
- Age — As you grow older, the fluid that your discs contain begins to dry out. For some people, this occurs earlier in life. In others, the discs may not start drying out until you reach a more advanced age.
- Weight — Being overweight puts more strain on the spine. This adds pressure to the discs, which causes them to wear down more quickly than in people with a healthy weight.
- Physical activity — Participating in sports and frequent manual labor can cause damage to the discs that cause them to wear down quickly.
- Injury — A direct impact to the spine can damage the discs, causing DDD to develop.
Visit the iRISE Spine and Joint Institute for DDD treatment
Treatment for DDD varies depending on the severity of your DDD and other variables like age, weight, and medical history. Some people can get by with chiropractic care and interventional spine care. Others may need minimally invasive surgery. Regardless of which of these treatments your health care provider recommends, our team at the iRISE Spine and Joint Institute has you covered. Contact our team today to learn more about DDD treatment or to schedule an appointment.