Cervical Degenerative Disc Disease
What is Cervical Degenerative Disc Disease?
Cervical Degenerative Disc Disease is a condition which most aging adults suffer from without being aware of it. Our spine has vertebral discs, which are shock absorbers. Those discs have a tendency to dry as we age, thus affecting the spine's functions.
Generally, patients find out about this condition during a regular checkup or simply by visiting the doctor for another reason. The most common symptom is pain which is being created by the discs which lose their height and become tighter and stiff. At times, the pain can become more persistent or even constant, similar to arthritis pain.
How can it be diagnosed?
DDD can be diagnosed by doctors who follow certain procedures with the help of advanced diagnostic technology. A full medical history is requested from the patient. Also, the doctors perform a thorough physical examination seeking for muscle weakness or loss of reflexes.
Afterwards, they run some necessary diagnostic tests such as x-rays, an MRI and /or discography. The first two exclude other issues such as tumors or disc space and disc structures on the patients' spinal cord. The discography gives a clearer image of the discs by injecting a contrast dye in the affected area of the patient.
Can patients overcome it?
In most cases, patients can overcome their DDD problem through physical therapy and medications. In the most severe cases where pain persists and the patient cannot handle the pain in everyday life, surgery may be needed.
Do not hesitate to seek medical assistance. Your surgeon can consider multiple surgical options in order to replace the problematic discs, and relief your pain by stabilizing the affected area.
While cervical degenerative disc disease is a natural part of aging, it does not mean you have to live with neck pain. Your doctor can help you return to a healthy and active lifestyle. While you are under our care, our medical staff will provide you with excellent information to help you recover, minimize risk factors, and stay healthy.