Disc Degeneration Treatment Willowbrook, IL
What is disc degeneration?
As we age, our spine and the cushioning discs between the vertebrae take an incredible amount of stress and bear huge amounts of weight. This leads to degeneration of the discs. When one or more of the discs between your vertebrae deteriorates or breaks down, this is known as degenerative disc disease. This isn’t really a “disease,” but a simple fact of aging. When a disc degenerates, it becomes worn and thin. It then fails to provide the same cushioning and shock absorption it once did, and this can lead to back pain.
What are the symptoms of disc degeneration?
As we age, all of us have some degeneration in our spinal discs. But this doesn’t always result in pain. If the disc has degenerated to the degree that the bone has developed bone spurs, these will often push on nearby nerve roots. If this happens you’ll like have constant pain in the area impacted.
These are common signs that your pain is disc related. The pain…
- Is in your lower back, buttocks, or upper thighs
- Comes and goes. It can be nagging or severe, but won’t fully go away
- Feels worse when you sit and feels better when you’re moving
- Feels worse when you bend, lift anything, or twist
- Gets better when you change positions or lie down
- May cause numbness and tingling in your arms or legs
How is disc degeneration treated?
Pain management is an important factor in successful management of degenerative disc disease.
- Medications — These will range from over-the-counter pain medications and anti-inflammatory options to pain narcotics (short term) and muscle relaxers. Dr. Elborno may use epidural steroid injections. These are injected into the epidural space in your spine. This is the fluid-filled area around the spinal cord. These injections could also be made directly around the area where a nerve root is being compressed. This reduces inflammation and will usually relieve pain.
- Physical therapy — Strengthening adjacent muscles in the area of the problematic disc or discs is often very effective.
- Surgery — If your disc has degenerated to the point that you have continual pain, surgery may be the only option. These procedures could vary from laminectomies (where part of the vertebra is removed to open space for the nerve roots or spinal cord), microdiscectomies (where the herniated portion of a degenerated disc is removed), to spinal fusion (where the disc is removed and the two vertebrae are fused into a single piece).
How do I know if an injury has caused spinal cord damage?
Spinal cord injuries will impact movement. What is impacted depends on the place of the injury and the severity of the injury to the spinal cord. “Complete” injuries mean that all feeling and control of movement are lost below the spinal cord injury. “Incomplete” injuries mean you have retained some motor function and feeling in the injured area.
Spinal cord injuries will have these signs and symptoms:
- Loss of movement
- Loss or altered sensation, including the ability to feel heat, cold, and touch
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Exaggerated reflex activity or spasms
- Pain or intense stinging sensation caused by damage to nerve fibers in the spinal cord
- Difficulty breathing, coughing, and clearing your lungs
- Changes in sexual function, sexual sensitivity, and fertility
- “I’ve been going to Dr. Elborno for two years, and he is not just a doctor, he’s a confidant- an advisor and a true doctor that really cares for his patients. He makes me feel like I’m more than just a patient, but as a family member. He listens and shows empathy and compassion. Dr. Elborno is the best doctor in Illinois!”– Karen P.
- “Amazing staff and beautiful office. Dr. Elborno is the best, he knows his stuff and treats you very well, and spends a long time with you. Highly recommended.”– Armeen A.
Experiencing disc degeneration symptoms and seeking disc degeneration treatment? Please call 630-568-3862 or click here to schedule a consultation. We serve Willowbrook, Illinois and surrounding areas.