Low Back Pain Part 6 Degenerative Disc Disease DDD
(soft rock music) Degenerative disc diseaseis almost universal. It's essentially, what I like to call, wear and tear on the spine. The discs within the spine are. how I describe it, like a jelly donut. There's a jelly in thecenter and hard caritlage rings around the outside.
These are the discs in between the bones. These are the cushions,the shock absorbers. This is where thedeterioration first occurs. Where we have drying of the discs, narrowing of the spaces. As the discs become more narrow, the nerve holes, where these nerves exit, become narrow.
And the central canal, whichis where the spinal cord and spinal nerves are, thatbecomes narrow as well. The symptoms of degenerative disc disease, or DDD as we call it, can span just about anyother cause of back pain. You can have pure back pain inthe center of the lower back, which is typical of pain inthe disc, in and of itself, You can have pain radiatingout along the beltline,
which is typical of muscular pain or jointrelated pain, thosestructures will become painful as the wear and tear occurs. You'll have joint pain in thefacet, or facet, or zjoints of the spine as the muscles try to splint and get tight to tryto stabilize the spine, you'll get muscle pain, muscle spasms. You can also, with narrowingof the spaces around the nerve,
because of collapse of thespine with the wear and tear, you can also have nerve pain. Which then radiates or can radiate down down the leg, even past the knee towards the foot or the ankle. You can also have positional discomforts. Things like, quot;It hurts memore when I stand and walk,quot; versus, quot;It hurts me more when I sit,quot;
quot;It hurts me more gettingup out of the chair quot;but once I'm up andmoving, it's a bit better.quot; Essentially any pain that anyonecan have in the lower back could be related todegenerative disc disease. So as part of my usual examination after watching the patientwalk into the room, and see how they walk, see how they move, see how they do thingslike sit on the chair,