Many doctors believe that DDD, which stands for degenerative disc disease, is a normal, natural occurrence with aging.
Don't you believe that for a minute.
Degenerative disc disease is the result of progressive degeneration or spinal decay. It occurs as the result of a prior injury that was not treated properly or an injury that caused permanent damage.
The disc, after the age of 25, has lost its blood supply. An adequate blood supply is a requisite for repair and healing.
Because there are no blood vessels to supply the needed nutrients and remove damaging by-products of cellular metabolism, the disc is highly susceptible to destructive degenerative processes as a result of injury.
The primary way a disc receives nutrients for maintenance and repair is through a process called imbibition. This is when fluids(nutrients) are absorbed and cellular metabolic by-products (waste) are resorbed through changes in pressure gradients. This action is similar to that which occurs when you squeeze and release a sponge.
Motion is essential for this process to occur. Your discs need to be going through a squeezing and releasing action. If they fail to do so, due to the impaired motion of your spine, maintenance and repair processes are obstructed and degeneration will be the result.
This lack of motion occurs due to the development of joint fixations as a result of injury to your spinal joints or muscles. The injury may be from a major traumatic event, such as a fall or automobile accident. It may also be due to micro trauma, such as what may occur with repetitive motion or even long standing spinal abnormal spinal curvature.
Lumbar vertebral joints that are locked or fixated will be unable to function through a normal full range of motion. This very loss of motion will enhance the destructive degenerative processes, as your disc loses its fluid content, fitness, and integrity.
This condition is termed degenerative disc disease or DDD.
What are the subsequent affects or outcome of degenerative disc disease?
1. Facet joint arthritis with its associated syndrome.
2. Boney spurring of the vertebra.
3. Disc bulging or herniation.
4. Pinched or compressed nerves (sciatica).
5. Decreased range of motion and stiffness.
6. Activation of trigger points.
7. Acute and chronic lower back pain.
You should not wait until you develop lower back pain and a diagnosis of degenerative disc disease before taking action to treat or prevent it.
Disc degeneration is the product of injuries, both major and minor. These injuries were sustained years before the onset of symptoms.
It takes years for the findings of degenerative disc disease to become evident on x-rays.
Here is the equation: (Injury) plus (Inadequate Treatment) plus (Time) equals (Degenerative Disc Disease) or
Injury + Inadequate Treatment + Time = DDD
Some of the measures to take to prevent and treat degenerative disc disease are:
Once the DDD is present and evident on x-ray or MRI correction cannot be obtained.
Your primary goal is to halt or slow down its progressive process. The same measures recommended above for prevention are the steps that you need to do for treatment as well.
A diagnosis of degenerative disc disease does not need to progress to chronic lower back pain. It is quite possible to have DDD, even advanced, and not suffer with low back pain.
Degenerative disc disease doesn't usually cause low back pain by itself. Your lower back pain can most often be attributed to a facet syndrome, trigger points, or recurrent episodes of low back strain.