Degenerative Disc Disease – An Inside View

Degenerative Disc Disease, especially the Lumbar Degenerative Disc Disease is the most common ailment that orthopedicians encounter. The industry has the habit of using long alien sounding words to describe medical conditions that have been frustrating for people seeking relief, as there is nothing intuitive about the deduction of the ailment when one goes by the names afforded to it. However, with the advent of better technologies and a more observable procedures with better levels of access to information and details, it is imperative that the common man raises his awareness on the procedures and the diseases so that, when it comes to personal involvement in disease, be it upon one’s own self or a loved one, the point of approach to the problem can be from the platform of the well aware and educated.

This blog at Navaladi Endospine Care attempts to be a sit down for the reader so that we can all learn a thing or two about these ailments with long names. We can combat the problems better when we have a better understanding of what makes them occur, in the first place. The more aware a person is about the disease the better are the coping mechanisms and the recovery, recuperation process. Not just that, better awareness will go that excess distance in actual prevention itself.

Let us know more about Degenerative Diseases.

Lumbar Degenerative Disease – A Staredown
The lower vertebrae, the lumbar region is prone to wear and tear due to trauma or age. The vertebrae are separated by soft discs with tough outer rings, which help prevent the bones from making contact with each other and also help isolate the spine and the spinal nerves from physical contact .Now these discs, tough as they are, are not strong enough for sustained abuse or trauma, or the sheer aspect of aging. This may lead to wearing of the soft tissue or even bulge out causing what is referred to as bone spurs. There is also another condition called degenerative instability, which leads to the spine not being able to maintain normal movement under load. Now, this condition is especially worrisome because inaction actually makes this condition worse over time.

How do we know that we have Lumbar Degenerative Disease?
There are several telltale symptoms for the onset of Degeneration. The predominant sign is the persistent pain, especially during times of load bearing or physical activity that requires movement of the vertebral column. Sometimes, occasional shooting pain can also be an indicator of early wear, and the sooner the condition is diagnosed the better the efficacy of long term cure. Freezing up of the back, unnatural stiffness are also indicators that there is some degeneration starting to happen in the lower back. This should prompt the individual to immediately go in for a diagnosis, as time, in most Degenerative conditions, is of the essence.

What is the Diagnosis Procedure?
The initial step is, of course, to consult a physician. A seasoned physician can tell by way of examination the actual issues with respect to DDD. However, an array of imaging is necessary to have an exact assessment of the level of Degeneration in the Discs. Regular imaging techniques like X-Ray, CT and in some cases MRI may even be prescribed to assess the exact level of the Disease.

So what is the cure?
Non-surgical techniques are available for early stage detection, and though the parameters of success vary with respect to each individual, it is always the first step in the solution. In cases of starting of Degenerative Disc Disease, Cold or Hot compress with restriction in physical activity and bed rest in some cases can help recover the damaged discs, and help regain normalcy. As per a schedule set by the physicians, this period of recovery can be followed by strengthening exercises, that will help strengthen the muscles in the lower back like the erector spinae, which in turn will bolster the vertebra, preventing degeneration from happening. However when the Degeneration is in an advanced stage with debilitating effects on the posture and psychological health of the individual, there are endoscopic surgical procedures that can be done painlessly, safely and effectively at Navaladi Endospine Care.

Surgery in itself is minimally invasive, and the surgeon introduces a camera and tools through mere pin holes, which was why for some time it was referred to as pinhole surgery. Through remote access the surgeon gets an excellent view of the damaged disc and can very easily remove the disc and replace it with artificial disc, thereby regaining optimal health to the patient.

There is no reason to fear the procedure as awareness will replace fear with clarity and joy. There is no space for hope as there needs be no waiting for the process as instant repair is possible, thanks to the advancements in technology.