Degenerative Disc Disease, or DDD, is a common condition which can cause pain in the back and/or painful symptoms radiating down your limbs. “Disc” refers to the fluid filled discs that sit between each level of your spine, providing cushion and helping allow for movement in your spine. When those discs degenerate they lose their fluid causing a decrease in their cushion and height, which can lead to a loss of mobility in your spine and cause back pain.
The degeneration of your disc also causes less room for nerves to move freely as they’re supposed to out of your spinal column. This can lead to conditions such as stenosis, spondylosis, and spondylolisthesis which can cause pain and numbness/tingling to travel into your limbs.
DDD most commonly occurs at the cervical level (your neck) or at the lumbar level (your low back). To some extent, degeneration of discs is a natural part of aging. It is to be expected as you age and you may not have any symptoms. If the degeneration begins to become cause for concern or is causing symptoms like back pain or radiating pain into your arms or legs, physical therapy can be a method of helping to prevent or relieve these symptoms.
Physical therapy can address the issues surrounding DDD in a number of different ways. The nerves which begin in your spinal column begin in your back and travel through your muscles and tissues to innervate different muscles. Techniques to help these nerves move more freely can often provide relief for symptoms that radiate down your arms or legs. Physical therapy can also help to improve spinal mobility and function by stretching tight muscles and/or strengthening weak muscles. The core spinal stabilizer muscles, small unseen muscles in your core and back, play an important role in providing stability to your back but are commonly weak. Strengthening these muscles can improve the stability of your spine, essentially taking pressure off of the degenerated discs.
With conditions like DDD, physical therapy can be a beneficial method of improving how well you’re able to move and improving your core strength, resulting in an overall decrease in your pain and improved quality of life.
We treat conditions such as degenerative disc disease, stenosis, spondylosis, and spondylolisthesis in the Clermont 34711 area!