Degenerative Disc Disease Specialist

Southern Pain and Spine

Pain Management & Interventional Spine Specialists located in Gainesville, Jasper, & Athens, GA

Everyone’s spinal discs get weaker with time as part of the normal aging process, but for around 5% of adults, this causes pain. If you have pain from degenerative disc disease, Ankur Patel, DO, RPH, Jordan Tate, MD, MPH, and the team at Southern Pain and Spine in Gainesville, Athens, Fayetteville, and Jasper, Georgia, can help you manage the symptoms safely using a comprehensive treatment approach. To schedule an appointment and find out more about treatments for degenerative disc disease, call Southern Pain and Spine or book online today.

Degenerative Disc Disease Q&A

What is degenerative disc disease?

Degenerative disc disease develops when the discs in your spine get weaker and less supportive with time. They become prone to herniation and can place pressure on nearby nerve roots exiting the spine, usually in the neck or low back. 

The discs in your spine are round, cushy structures between the vertebrae. They absorb shock and allow your spine to have some flexibility so you can twist and bend your core. While everyone’s discs degenerate a little with age, some people experience far more symptoms and complications than others. 

As your discs wear down, they stop being able to support the vertebrae. That causes the vertebrae to rub together, which leads to pain and may cause spinal stenosis, adult scoliosis, or spondylolisthesis. Pain from degenerative disc disease can be chronic and debilitating, and it requires an individualized approach for treatment. 

What are the typical symptoms of degenerative disc disease?

The primary symptom of degenerative disc disease is pain, primarily in the neck or lower back. The location of your pain depends on the area or areas where the discs are the most weak and are causing vertebrae to come in contact with each other. 

Most people with degenerative disc disease experience constant low-level pain with scattered episodes of severe pain. Other possible symptoms include:

  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Burning
  • Muscle spasms
  • Sciatica

If disc degeneration leads to nerve root compression, symptoms like numbness or tingling can appear in the areas where the compressed nerve travels. For example, with disc degeneration in the neck, you might experience radiating pain through your arms and hands. 

How is degenerative disc disease treated?

Southern Pain and Spine starts your treatment for degenerative disc disease with a detailed consultation. The team specializes in noninvasive treatments for the condition that ease pain and other symptoms while improving function. 

An individualized treatment plan for degenerative disc disease might involve:

Physical medicine and rehabilitation

Physical medicine and rehabilitation helps improve spinal function and strength. Your provider works with you to strengthen and stretch your back to ease the symptoms of degenerative disc disease. 

Steroid injections

Steroid injections near your spinal nerves and discs ease inflammation, which takes the pressure off nerves in the spine. That helps treat symptoms like pain, numbness, tingling, and burning. 

Radiofrequency ablation

Radiofrequency ablation is a procedure that uses electrical currents to burn a targeted nerve and stop it from sending pain signals to your brain. 

Spinal cord stimulation

Spinal cord stimulation involves an implanted device that sends electrical currents through electrodes and into the spinal cord. That stops pain signals from traveling up the nerves and to your brain, and you can control the impulses using a remote control device outside your body. 

Medication management

The team creates a safe and conservative medication plan for you using prescriptions.

Schedule your appointment for degenerative disc disease treatment with Southern Pain and Spine by calling the nearest office or requesting a referral online today.