Degenerative Disc Disease

DDDDiagnoses: Degenerative Disc Disease is a type of osteoarthritis of the spine where the volume of the disc decreases resulting in less space between the vertebrae. Due to decreased “cushion” between the vertebrae, rough surfaces may rub together resulting in pain and inflammation.

Symptoms: Symptoms can range from intense back pain to no pain at all. Pain is typically worse when sitting, bending, or reaching. Pain may vary during different times of the day, typically being worse in the morning. In more severe cases, Degenerative Disc Disease can result in nerve compression, causing numbness, tingling, or weakness in the legs.

Causes: Degenerative Disc Disease develops with general wear and tear of the body. However, increased risk factors include smoking, obesity, heavy physical labor, and a sedentary lifestyle.

Our Physical Therapy Treatment: Physical therapy treatment will be patient specific and dependent on the severity of the disorder as well as the patient’s goals. Treatment will focus on:

  • Mechanical diagnoses/treatment for improved movement and pain reduction
  • Postural education and awareness
  • Core stability and strengthening exercises
  • Functional activity training
  • Manual therapy for increased joint motion

Patients will be provided education on how to manage symptoms independently in the future. Goals will be to develop a home exercise program allowing for continued gains.