Degenerative Spine Conditions: Common Symptoms and Treatment Options

Degenerative spine conditions represent a progressive degradation of various parts of the spine. They may be triggered by wear and tear, genetics, or other health issues. One thing is certain: you should schedule an appointment with a doctor at our Greenville spine center as soon as you start experiencing negative symptoms.

These conditions will get worse over time, resulting in impairment or disability. When degenerative spine conditions are in an advanced stage, the only treatment options may be extremely invasive – for instance, surgery.

The Most Frequent Degenerative Spine Conditions

Older adults are more likely to develop these conditions. However, specific risk factors may trigger them even in younger people.

1. Degenerative Disc Disease

Degenerative disc disease represents the progressive damage of the cushions (called discs) between the vertebrae). It is more common in adults over 40, as it is the result of normal wear and tear.

Since the discs act as shock absorbers for the spine, once they are worn out the vertebrae (made of bone) start rubbing between each other, causing pain, stiffness, and other symptoms.

2. Arthritis

Arthritis is an inflammatory condition of the joints. It can affect the knees, wrists, elbows, and the spine. Spinal arthritis can be triggered by various other conditions, such as:

  • Osteoporosis
  • Rheumatism
  • Infections.

Arthritis pain usually flares up during moments of activity. Left untreated, it will worsen over time, leading to reduced mobility and chronic pain.

3. Sciatica

Sciatica is caused by damage to the longest and thickest nerve in the human body. The sciatic nerve starts in the lower back and runs down each leg. Under the knee, it branches out in many nerves that run down to the foot and toes.

Sciatica pain can be highly debilitating. Just like other degenerative disc diseases, it is often caused by long-term overuse, as well as poor posture when lifting weights.

over the years, people develop various spine problems

4. Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis occurs when the canal of the spinal cord narrows, putting pressure on various nerves. It is often localized in the neck and in the lower back. The main causes of spinal stenosis are:

  • Herniated disc
  • Injuries
  • Tumors
  • Paget’s disease.

Common Symptoms of Degenerative Spine Conditions

Although each condition has specific pathology and causes, patients usually experience similar symptoms:

  • Grating sensations in the spine
  • Loss of flexibility and mobility
  • Pain in the back and legs
  • Burning sensation in the legs
  • Muscle weakness.

The doctors at our Greenville spine center know that these symptoms will get worse if you do not get diagnosed and receive treatment for any of these conditions. In time, your mobility will be severely limited, until you may need assistive devices like a cane or walking frame.

How We Treat These Conditions

After diagnosing your condition correctly, using various diagnostic tests (MRI, CT scan, or X-ray), our multidisciplinary team will create a treatment plan. It will address both the condition itself and the pain and discomfort you are experiencing.

Some of the treatments we use with an excellent success rate are:

  • Medication – Both over-the-counter and prescription medications are carefully dosed for each patient.
  • Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) uses heat to block pain signals from the nerves.
  • Nerve block injections block the pain signals sent to the brain.
  • Chiropractic adjustments – These manipulations of the spine can reduce pain and inflammation and help resolve various spinal misalignments.
  • Kyphoplasty/ Vertebroplasty – This minimally invasive procedure uses injections with special cement to stabilize and strengthen vertebrae.
  • Spinal cord stimulator – A device implanted under the skin sends a weak electric current to the spinal cord, blocking pain signals.

In the most severe cases, we will recommend orthopedic surgery, to correct problems caused by degenerative spine conditions that could not be treated with less invasive therapies.

The Doctors at Our Greenville Spine Center Are Ready to Help You!

Degenerative spine conditions must not be ignored, because they will not go away. Instead, they will progress, reducing your quality of life.

At our Greenville spine center you will find a dedicated team of doctors who are focused on one thing: helping you find relief from pain and other limiting symptoms. We encourage you to call us at 864-535-0144 and schedule an initial appointment.

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