Degenerated Disc Treatment, Bradenton FL
Degenerated discs can cause Low Back Pain as well as Herniated Discs. Usually, they do not affect the spinal nerves directly, unless the disc and spinal joints calcify to the extent that the calcification approximates the exiting nerve roots or spinal cord. However, the disc itself has a nerve supply via the very tiny sinu vertebral nerve that was not known to exist until the mid 1980s. This can cause Low Back Pain.
Over the years, the soft disc can become less flexible, dried out and cracks may develop. They get thinner to the point where the adjacent vertebrae begin to get closer in proximity. This is called a degenerated disc. In the majority of cases, the degenerated disc does not cause any symptoms, therefore the individual is not even aware he/she is developing a problem. Once it starts to affect the nerve, pain is usually the first sign that something is wrong. Although degenerated discs do not show up on Xray, the narrowing of the disc space can be seen and if calcification develops, it may be seen on Xray as well.
Once a disc degenerates, there is a loss of tissue. Due to the lack of a blood supply after the age of 20, the disc cannot repair itself. Therefore whatever portion of the disc has degenerated is lost. It cannot regenerate and the condition is permanent, but not necessarily the pain. Common treatments include medication, local cortisone injections, epidural steroid injections and if severe, surgery. Often in surgery, the vertebrae are fused together either by wedging bone fragments taken from the hip to replace the disc and over time, the vertebrae will fuse together naturally or hardware is inserted to fuse the vertebrae together. This is drastic and should be considered the absolute last resort.
Vertebral Axial Decompression and Cox Distraction get excellent results with degenerated discs by taking the pressure off of the discs by distracting the vertebrae. The theory behind VAX-D is that the discs receive nourishment from blood that diffuses into it from the adjacent vertebrae. Glucosamine has also been shown to have some benefit with degenerated discs.