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Degenerative Disk Disease (DDD)


      Spinal disks are circular pads of connective tissue between your vertebrae. They act as shock absorbers between the vertebrae as you move. A herniated disk is one which bulges out between the vertebrae, often pressing on nearby nerves and causing pain. This can happen due to an accident, to repeated strain on the back, to a single sudden strenuous action such as lifting a heavy weight or violent twisting, or sometimes spontaneously and with no identifiable cause. Symptoms can come on suddenly or gradually.

      Herniation can occur anywhere along the spine, although it is particularly common in the neck and lower back. If it happens in the neck, you may find your neck painfully "twisted" and be unable to straighten it . Numbness, tingling, or weakness may extend down one or both arms. Disk damage lower on the spine can cause back ache; produce tingling, pain or numbness down one or both legs; and interfere with bowel or bladder function. In most cases, treatment without surgery will relieve the pain. This may include bed rest on a firm mattress; wearing a neck collar if the neck is involved; massage or other physical therapy; use of muscle relaxing, pain-killing or anti-inflammatory medication; steroid injection into the inflamed area; or traction.

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Extended Information:

Spine Health: Degenerative Disk Disease
Intellihealth's Herniated Disk Page

Non-Surgical Treatment Options