Degenerative disc disease (DDD) is a condition that damages the intervertebral discs. These discs act as shock absorbers between your vertebrae and support you. If one of these discs becomes damaged, it can lead to DDD. While DDD doesn’t usually occur over a single year, symptoms can build up until it does. Degenerative disc disease often occurs in people aged 40 or older, which is why you may not be familiar with the signs and symptoms until later in life. In this article, we will explore what is disc degeneration disease? And its common symptoms.
Disc degeneration disease is a common yet misunderstood condition. Disc degeneration (DD) is a condition that arises as part of the normal ageing process and can be caused by previous trauma to the disc, poor posture or lifestyle habits, or genetic predisposition. Disc degeneration can occur in any part of the spine and most commonly involves the lower back. DD is a progressive condition that can lead to severe pain, disability, and even death. It is important to understand that disc degeneration is not a disease in itself but rather a symptom of another underlying condition.
Common Symptoms of Degenerative Disc Disease
1. Severe pain when sitting, lying down, or bending
A person with degenerative disc disease may have severe pain when sitting, lying down, or bending. More than 50% of people with DD will have severe pain when lying down. Disc degeneration may also cause pain that radiates from the back to the leg and foot.
2. Lower back pain
Many people with disc degeneration will also experience lower back pain. The pain can radiate from the lower back to other areas of the body, such as the buttocks, hips, legs and feet. In most cases, lower back pain is mild to moderate, and no other symptoms are present such as weakness or numbness in the foot or leg. However, if these symptoms are present, they may be indicative of an underlying condition.
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Sciatica is a common symptom of disc degeneration that can occur when a nerve root becomes irritated during normal daily activities and causes severe pain throughout the lower limbs and feet when walking or standing up from a sitting position. It is important to understand that sciatica is not related to disc disease but rather a condition caused by irritation from another underlying condition such as arthritis or pinched nerves. If you suspect sciatica, it is important to see your doctor immediately for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan.
4. Numbness and tingling in the extremities
Numbness and tingling in the extremities are known as peripheral neuropathy. This condition can result from nerve damage that is related to disc disease. If you suspect numbness and tingling, you must see your doctor for an accurate diagnosis and an appropriate treatment plan.
5. Feeling worse after sleeping
Sleeping is important for many reasons, but one of the most important reasons is that from sleep, we rest our muscles and nerves to wake up feeling refreshed. If you feel pain in your back while sleeping, then it might be a good idea to move around more and try not to sleep in one position for too long.
6. Difficulty walking/standing up straight
It could be due to a disc issue if you have difficulty walking or standing up straight. You might have to have an evaluation by your doctor to see if something needs to be done or if it’s just a temporary pain that you will feel better after resting and taking some time off.
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