When the cushions between your spinal bones degrade over time, the cartilage or the bone itself can pinch the nerve root that exits your spinal cord. This causes pain and other physically limiting symptoms. Because you may feel the pain in other parts of your body, it takes an experienced pain specialist in New York to correctly diagnose and prepare a targeted treatment for degenerative disc disease. Come to NY Pain Management to find relief from your back pain.
Degenerative disc disease isn’t actually a disease. It’s a condition that occurs following an injury or as a result of the aging process. And while everyone’s vertebral discs break down to some extent over time, not everyone experiences the pain associated with degenerative disc disease.
Degenerative disc disease is among the leading causes of chronic and potentially severe back pain. Thankfully, there’s an NYC physical therapy and pain center that has the best rated pain management doctors in NY. They have the skills, techniques, and experience to help you find relief from your degenerative disc pain.
Spinal Anatomy 101
Your spine is made up of vertebrae linked together to form a column of bones. The flexibility between these bones allows you to bend and move in a variety of ways. Between each vertebra is a spinal disc. These discs act like shock absorbers. They help your back retain its range of motion and keep your bones from rubbing directly against each other.
Your spinal discs have a firm outer layer that forms a shell. Each disc is filled with a jelly-like substance that cushions your spine as you move, bend and twist. Your spinal discs are one of the few parts of your body to have very little blood supply. As a result, if you injure one of your discs, they don’t have the same ability to heal and regenerate as other tissues of your body.
Stages of Degeneration
At birth, your spinal discs consisted of roughly 80 percent water. Your body’s natural aging process tends to dry your discs out over time. When this happens, your discs can’t absorb shock and stress nearly as well. You may experience periods of intense pain that come and go. In more extreme cases, pain may even radiate to nearby areas, like your neck and shoulders.
Repetitive movements or injuries over a perod of years can damage the tough outer wall of a disc. If the damage condenses the disc, your vertebrae or cartilage may pinch a nerve, which can be extremely painful. If the damage is significant enough to force the soft core through the cracks in the outer wall, your disc may bulge or slip. This exceedingly painful condition is known as a herniated disc.
Treatment for Degenerative Disc Disease
The top pain doctors in Manhattan know how to treat degenerative disc disease. Visit Pain Management NYC for testing and treatments. Your NYC pain management doctor reviews your medical history and orders the tests necessary to make an accurate diagnosis before beginning treatment for degenerative disc disease.
Your degenerative disc disease treatment depends on the severity of your condition. For most cases, degenerative disc disease treatments center around medication and physical therapy. The primary goal is to reduce your pain level and prevent further injury. Pain management with these techniques is typically intended for long-term use, as long as your condition is manageable. Other treatments include:
- Nerve blocks. These injections place numbing agents at the nerve in your spine, deadening your pain.
- Dorsal rhizotomy. This targeted treatment uses radio frequency to deaden the impinged nerve to stop the pain.
More Minimally Invasive Options
Certain steroids have the ability to ease pain and swelling. Steroids injected into your neck are called cervical epidural steroid injections. If you have the steroids injected into your lower back, they’re called lumbar epidural steroid injections. Your pain specialist in New York injects the steroids into the fluid-filled epidural space that surrounds your spinal cord.
More severe cases of disc degeneration are treatable by minimally invasive surgical procedures. Once more conservative treatments prove ineffective, your pain doctor may discuss surgical options:
- This minimally invasive surgery is performed to remove part of the disc that’s injured and pinching a nerve. When disc degeneration affects your lower back, the procedure is called a lumbar discectomy.
- Lumbar Fusion. This option can help if your disc is damaged beyond what a discectomy can relieve. As the name implies, this surgery fuses two vertebrae together, eliminating the need for the disc.
Get treatment today to get out of back pain.
Leon Reyfman, MD, is a top-rated, best-in-class interventional pain management doctor. He is a nationally recognized pain relief specialist and is among the top pain care doctors in New York City and the country. He is an award-winning expert and contributor to prominent media outlets.
Dr. Leon Reyfman has been recognized for his thoughtful, thorough, modern approach to treating chronic pain. He has been named a “top pain management doctor in New York” and one of “America’s Top Doctors™” for advanced sports injury treatments. Among other accolades, he was voted by peers as a “Castle Connolly Top Doctors™” and “New York Super Doctors™”. Dr. Leon Reyfman was a part of the medical team at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.