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Education & Resources

Degenerative Disc Disease 

Spinal cord under pressure of bulging disc

Discogenic pain and degenerative disc disease are often very closely related. Discogenic disorders, also collectively known as degenerative disc disease, are those in which the intervertebral discs in your spine gradually deteriorate over time. While this process is a natural part of aging, when the discs bulge or become herniated and put pressure on nerves or other tissue, it can cause pain, weakness, tingling, and other symptoms. 

Discogenic pain can usually be successfully treated with non-surgical treatments, such as pain medication and physical therapy and exercise, but chronic discogenic pain that is severe and limits the individual’s ability to function may need to be treated with surgery.

Disc ruptured with veretebras

A bulging disc is a condition in which the nucleus (inner portion) of a spinal disc remains contained within the annulus fibrosus (outer portion), unlike a herniated disc in which the nucleus leaks out of the disc. This protrusion or bulge can put pressure on the surrounding nerve roots which can lead to pain that radiates down the arms or legs.

Osteoarthritis and the various joints involved

Osteoarthritis of hip joint, eps8

Of the several varieties of arthritis, the most common, the most frequently disabling, and often the most painful is osteo- (meaning bone) arthritis, mostly affecting the weight bearing joints (hips and knees) plus the hands, feet and spine. Normally, joints have remarkably little friction and move easily due the lubricated cartilage covering the boney surfaces.

Osteoarthritis of the spine, eps8

With degeneration of the joint, the cartilage becomes rough and worn out, causing the joint halves to rub against each other, creating inflammation with pain and the formation of bone spurs. The fluid lubricant may become thin and the joint lining swollen to inflamed. Osteoarthritis is also known as degenerative joint disease and affects up to 30 million Americans with both genders in their advanced ages and frequently excelerated by labor professions and traumatic accidents.

* Click on images for larger version

Synovial joint normal and arthritis, eps8