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Degenerative Disc Disease

Minimally Invasive Spine Center of South Florida

Orthopedic Spine Surgeons located in Miami-Dade County, Miami, FL

Degenerative disc disease is a condition that develops as the intervertebral discs in the back break down with age. This condition causes pain and other symptoms that can disrupt the patient’s life considerably. Dr. Jon Gottlieb can diagnose degenerative disc disease and recommend treatments to help with the symptoms. If you think you may have this condition, please contact Jon Gottlieb, MD in South Miami, Florida, today to make an appointment.

Degenerative Disc Disease Q & A

What is degenerative disc disease?

The vertebrae in your spinal column are separated by soft intervertebral discs that act as shock absorbers while you move. As you age, these discs break down because of normal wear and tear. This is known as “degenerative disc disease.”

In many cases, degenerative disc disease won’t cause any symptoms. However, if you have symptoms of degenerative disc disease, you may notice back or neck pain. You may also feel pain in your arms, legs, and/or buttocks, as well as numbness and/or tingling. Many patients say that their pain gets worse when they are sitting, or if they bend or twist. Your pain may improve when you walk or run.

What causes this condition?

Degenerative disc disease is a normal result of aging. As the discs in your spine break down, they lose fluid, which makes them less flexible and less effective at absorbing shocks during movement. Your discs may also develop small tears in their outer layer, which allows the jelly-like center to protrude. This is known as a “herniated disc” and may require surgery if it’s severe.

In most cases, Dr. Gottlieb will be able to diagnose degenerative disc disease based on a physical exam and a description of your symptoms. However, if your condition seems severe, or if he suspects that you may have another condition that causes similar symptoms, he may order x-rays or other imaging tests to look at your spine.

How can Dr. Gottlieb help with this condition?

At this time, there isn’t a cure for degenerative disc disease. However, Dr. Gottlieb may be able to prescribe treatments to help with the symptoms of this condition. Treatments recommended may include applying ice or heat to the affected area or taking medications to bring down inflammation and relieve pain.

In some cases, degenerative disc disease leads to other problems, such as herniated discs. If this occurs, you may need other treatments, such as physical therapy, injections, or surgery. Dr. Gottlieb will explain all of the treatments available to you so you can make the best decision.

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