Degenerative disc disease is also referred to as the ‘disease of aging’ and is a natural occurrence in the process of aging. In fact surveys and health reports prove that almost 30% of people aged between 30-50 will show disc space degeneration. Degenerative disc disease is not a disease but a medical condition where in the discs of the spinal column starts to wear out most commonly due to advancing age or an insignificant injury that may grow overtime.
Injuries to the disc no matter how insignificant may kick start the process of degeneration because unlike tissues in the body discs do not have blood supply. Therefore if it sustains an injury it is unable to repair itself like other tissues in the body.
Degenerative Disc Disease Symptoms
It is true that a majority of people heading towards middle age suffer from disc degeneration but not all of them will suffer from symptoms that may point towards the problem. Usually a DDD sufferer will experience low-grade pain that is not intolerable and may continue for a few days or more. General symptoms of DDD include:
- Pain in the lower back that may trickle down to hips and legs
- Centered pain in the lower back that may continue for 6 weeks and more
- Patient suffering from pain when doing normal stuff like standing, walking, lying down and when lifting heavier objects
- Numbness and tingling sensation in the legs
- Muscle weakness
Degenerative Disc Disease Diagnosis
Usually the process of diagnosis for degenerative disc disease starts with a thorough physical examination specifically the lower back area. The doctor also studies the past medical history of the patient and the symptoms suffered by the patient in order to understand the seriousness of the situation and condition.
Doctors usually take help of diagnostic imaging tests like X-ray, CT scan as well as MRI scan to understand the progress and stage of the medical condition.