Degenerative Disk Disease

It is estimated that nearly 75% of the population will have some form of back or neck pain.

What is Degenerative Disk Disease?

The spine is made up of 33 vertebrae that are stacked on top of one another. Between each of these vertebrae is a rubbery piece of cartilage called an intervertebral disk. As we age, we start to loose some of the volume in the disk resulting in less space between the vertebrae. When the rough surfaces of the vertebral joints rub together, pain and inflammation may result.

Symptoms you may experience.

  • A degenerative disk in the neck may cause pain in the arm, shoulder, or neck.
  • A degenerative disk in the low back may cause pain in the back, buttocks, or legs.
  • The pain is often made worse with prolonged sitting, standing, or repetetive bending.

How does the Physical Therapist treat Degenerative Disk Disease?

  • Provide stretching and flexibility exercises to improve mobility in the joints and muscles along your spine
  • Strengthening exercises to improve the stability of your spine.
  • Manual therapy techniques to improve the mobility in stiff joints and tight muscles that may be contributing to your symptoms.
  • Posture and body mechanic education.
Friday the 21st. Copyright 2012, Three Rivers Hospital