Radiculopathy

Get the details on radiculopathy.

Degenerative disc disease

Degenerative disc disease is one of the circumstances that can cause a person to have radiculopathy. This term is sometimes shortened to a simple DDD. Although this type of degeneration commonly occurs during aging, some people are affected by it, particularly with pain.

Symptoms

In patients who do develop symptoms related to DDD, pain is one that may result. In particular, it can come as lower back pain, and may branch out, for instance to the hips. Pain can also show up while the patient is walking, such as in his thighs. Numbness may also appear as a result of degenerative disc disease.

In situations where neck pain from degenerative disc disease is involved, it may result in additional symptoms like vertigo and headaches. This is brought on as the blood supply to the person's brain is hindered. This situation can also lead to a decline in memory as well as cognition.


Treatment

In many situations, DDD can be treated with success without the need for surgical procedures. For instance, manipulative therapies like osteopathic and chiropractic types can be employed. Certain medicines, particularly anti-inflammatories, may be used. Physical therapy is one of the other options. One or more such non-surgical methods of treatment can be administered.

However, for some people, these methods will not be adequate in bringing relief of the symptoms that are being felt. If, after a matter of months (about two or three), relief is not found, then surgery might be suggested by a doctor. Another reason it might be prescribed is if certain things occur, such as difficulty in standing up, or if typical activity is hindered by the pain, etc.

If surgical treatment is undergone, there are different options that may be available to the patient. Spinal fusion is a common one. In this procedure, spinal vertibrae are joined together (at least two, although it can be done with more than that). There are various other surgical methods that can also be used. Talk with a doctor for details related to your particular situation.

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