Degenerative Disc Disease Specialist

Interventional Pain Medicine located in Eugene, OR

Degenerative Disc Disease

Often due to age-related changes in your spine, degenerative disc disease is a common cause of worsening back pain. The pain management team at Pain Specialists of Oregon, located in Eugene, Oregon, offers an extensive array of effective nonsurgical treatments for degenerative disc disease that can relieve your pain and help you return to the active life you enjoy. Don’t let back pain related to aging discs stall your progress. Schedule a visit with one of the experts at Pain Specialists of Oregon today. Call the office or book your visit online.

What causes degenerative disc disease?

Most of the vertically stacked bones in your spine (vertebrae) are separated by a disc-shaped structure that serves as a shock-absorbing cushion.

Each disc has a soft gel-like inner portion surrounded by a tough, rubbery coating. As you age, these discs can wear away (degenerate) and lose their cushioning effect, which leads to pain and other issues related to degenerative disc changes.

It is also possible to develop other issues such as osteoarthritis or wear-and-tear arthritis related to aging at the same time that you begin to note changes related to your spinal discs. 

What are the symptoms of degenerative disc disease?

Depending on the location of the worn disc, you may experience varying degrees of dull or aching pain anywhere in the back. However, localized pain related to degenerative disc disease most often occurs in the lumbar (lower) or cervical (neck) spine.

Should the spinal disc herniate (rupture) or slip out of place and encroach on nearby nerves causing them to become inflamed and irritated, you may also develop symptoms of radiculopathy, including:

  • Pain in the back, arms, legs, or shoulders 
  • Back discomfort that may worsen with bending or twisting
  • Discomfort that worsens with prolonged sitting and improves with walking 
  • Muscle weakness in the arms or legs
  • Numbness, tingling, or other abnormal sensations in the arms or legs  
  • Symptoms that frequently come and go over months to years

Although degenerative disc disease is often a cause of chronic back pain, it typically responds well to nonsurgical treatments. 

How do you treat degenerative disc disease?

Because the degenerative process cannot be reversed, treatment for degenerative disc disease typically focuses on relieving your pain and strengthening the muscles, ligaments, and tendons that support the spine. 

Most individuals respond well to non-surgical treatments for degenerative disc disease and/or radiculopathy that may include:

  • Oral medications to relieve pain and reduce inflammation
  • Physical therapy exercises that focus on muscle strengthening and flexibility
  • Modified activities that help protect your back health
  • Injection-based therapy such as epidural steroid injection to reduce nerve inflammation
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) therapy
  • Therapeutic massage
  • Heat therapy and cold therapy
  • Anti-inflammatory diet 

For an accurate diagnosis regarding your back pain and a personalized treatment plan that offers results without surgery, schedule a visit at Pain Specialists of Oregon today. Call the office or use their online scheduling tool to request an appointment.