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What’s Behind Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD) and Spondylosis?

Spondylosis is an umbrella term often used to describe spine pain that comes from degenerative conditions. Some of the conditions people refer to as spondylosis include spinal stenosis—an abnormal narrowing of the spinal canal causing leg pain, degeneration from degenerative disc disease (DDD), and degenerative arthritis (osteoarthritis) of the spine. It can also include cervical osteoarthritis (neck arthritis).

Spondylosis is a common, age-related condition that affects the joints and discs in your neck specifically. It frequently develops from wear and tear of the cartilage and bones in your neck.

While spondylosis is fairly common, it frequently worsens with age. Many individuals don’t have symptoms at the outset, but some experience pain or muscle spasms. Some individuals with spondylosis choose not to seek treatment. However, if symptoms occur and worsen over time, various treatments are available. These include medications, corticosteroid injections, physical therapy, and sometimes surgery.

How does Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD) or Spondylosis occur? And what can be done to alleviate the pain it brings?

How Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD) and Spondylosis Begin

Degenerative Disc Disease is a spinal condition caused by the breakdown of your intervertebral discs. As you age, your spine begins to show signs of wear and tear because your discs dry out and shrink. These age-related changes can lead to arthritis, disc herniation, or spinal stenosis. All these factors can put pressure on your spinal cord and nerves, which may cause back pain and bring on DDD or spondylosis.

Treatments for Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD) and Spondylosis

Several treatments are available to help relieve the pain associated with DDD and spondylosis. Typical pain medications include NSAIDs, oral steroids, and muscle relaxants, epidural injections, TENS units, ultrasound, and massage. Each treatment offers benefits, but each also has limitations. You should talk to your Pain Management physician to determine which treatment is best for you.