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Degenerative Disc Disease Specialist

Michigan Pain Specialists

Pain Management serving the areas of Ann Arbor, MI, Ypsilanti, MI & Adrian, MI. Now accepting Telehealth appointments.

As you age, degenerative disc disease can cause changes in the discs between your vertebrae. If you have degenerative disc disease symptoms, such as back pain, loss of function, and tingling or numbness, the Michigan Pain Specialists team can help. At the locations in Ypsilanti and Adrian, Michigan, the experienced team combines conservative physical therapies with advanced interventions to relieve your discomfort and improve function. Call Michigan Pain Specialists to find out more or book an appointment online today.

Degenerative Disc Disease Q & A

What is degenerative disc disease?

Degenerative disc disease is a widespread problem that tends to develop as you age. The structures that make up your spine deteriorate over time, although it can take many years for the discs in your spine to degenerate to the point where they cause symptoms.

In the case of degenerative disc disease, these changes affect the discs between the vertebrae (bones) that make up your spinal column. These discs are soft and have a high water content when you're young, helping them to absorb shock and protecting your spine.

Over time, the water content decreases, and the discs start to dry out. As this happens, they also get harder and flatter. The outer shell, which acts as a tough protective shield for the disc's soft inner core, can weaken and allow the core to push through, resulting in a herniated disc.

What symptoms does degenerative disc disease cause?

Many older citizens have a degree of degenerative disc disease. Although, for many, it won't cause any serious problems. If you do have symptoms, they're likely due to a herniated disc pressing on the nerves in your spinal column.

These symptoms include back or neck pain that radiates into your legs or arms. As well as pain, you might experience numbness in your arms or legs and sensations like burning, prickling, or "pins-and-needles."

Because the discs are less supportive and shock absorbent when you have degenerative disc disease, you might find your back isn’t as flexible or strong as it once was.

How is degenerative disc disease treated?

Initial treatments for degenerative disc disease focus on relieving pain and improving mobility. For many people who have disc problems, conservative treatments are very effective in managing back and neck pain. These might include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Applications of ice packs
  • Heat therapy
  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
  • Manual manipulation
  • Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections

A combination of some or all of these treatments is likely to form the basis of your individualized treatment plan at Michigan Pain Specialists. However, if you're not finding much improvement after several months, you might benefit from additional interventions.

What other treatments are there for degenerative disc disease?

Michigan Pain Specialists offers several advanced solutions to persistent degenerative disc disease, including:

  • Epidural steroid injections
  • Radiofrequency ablation
  • Minimally invasive lumbar decompression (MILD®)
  • Endoscopic discectomy

If you're experiencing symptoms of degenerative disc disease, contact the experts at Michigan Pain Specialists. Call the office and speak with a friendly member of the administrative staff or book online today.