Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD) is a condition that affects the discs in the spine, causing them to deteriorate over time. This can lead to various symptoms impacting daily life, including pain, weakness, and reduced mobility. In this article, we will explore the symptoms of DDD and the available treatment options.
Symptoms of Degenerative Disc Disease:
The symptoms of DDD can vary from person to person, and not everyone with the condition will experience symptoms. However, some common symptoms of DDD include:
Back Pain: Chronic pain in the lower back is the most common symptom of DDD. This pain can be dull or sharp, and muscle spasms may accompany it. The pain may be to the lower back but can also go down to the hips, thighs, and buttocks. The pain can be aggravated by certain activities such as bending, twisting, or lifting, or it may be more severe after prolonged periods of sitting or standing.
Numbness and Tingling: As the discs degenerate, they can pressure the nerves in the spine, leading to numbness and tingling sensations in the legs and feet. This is often a sign of nerve compression in the lower back, leading to a loss of sensation or weakness in the affected areas. The numbness and tingling may be felt on one or both sides of the body, and it can be constant or intermittent.
Weakness: As the nerves become compressed, the muscles they control may become weak, making it difficult to move or perform certain tasks. A loss of coordination often accompanies this weakness, which may be most noticeable in the legs or feet. In severe cases, the weakness can lead to difficulty walking, standing, or sitting for extended periods of time. This symptom can be particularly concerning as it can impact a person’s ability to perform their normal daily activities.
Reduced Range of Motion: DDD can cause stiffness in the spine, limiting a person’s range of motion. This can make it difficult to move the spine in certain directions and lead to tightness or discomfort. Reduced range of motion may also contribute to postural changes, as a person may need to compensate for the limited mobility in their spine. This symptom can impact a person’s ability to perform daily activities such as reaching, bending, and twisting.
Treatment options for DDD depend on the severity of the condition and the individual’s symptoms. In some cases, conservative treatments such as rest, physical therapy, and pain medication may effectively manage symptoms. However, in more severe cases, surgery may be necessary.
One promising new treatment option for DDD is IDCT or Injectable Discogenic Cell Therapy. IDCT is currently being researched and developed for DDD by Discgenics, a privately owned research company. This treatment involves injecting cells into damaged discs to stimulate healing and regeneration. Bob Wynalek, COO of Discgenics, is excited about the potential of IDCT, stating, “The future is very bright with opportunities that can treat so many patients.” While this injection has the potential to help millions of people worldwide, there are still important lifestyle factors like daily exercise, yoga, stretching, and stress management that can help alleviate pain.
In conclusion, Degenerative Disc Disease can cause various symptoms impacting daily life. However, various treatment options are available, including IDCT, a promising new treatment that has shown great potential in promoting healing and regeneration in the affected discs. If you are experiencing symptoms of DDD, it is important to speak with a medical professional to determine the best treatment for your individual needs.