Pain Medicine Group
Interventional Pain Medicine & Sports Medicine located in Sarasota, FL & Oviedo, FL
If you have ongoing neck pain, back pain, numbness, or tingling, it could be because of degenerative disc disease. At Pain Medicine Group in Sarasota, Oviedo and greater Orlando area, Florida, the interventional pain medicine specialists offer a variety of treatments to relieve discomfort and maximize your quality of life. Call the office to book an appointment or schedule one online today.
What is degenerative disc disease?
Degenerative disc disease develops when discs that cushion your spine (spinal discs) begin to wear down. The condition commonly occurs with older age, especially in those over 40, and can lead to discomfort over time. Treatment with the team at Pain Medicine Group can offer significant pain relief.
What are the symptoms of degenerative disc disease?
Common symptoms linked with degenerative disc disease include:
- Neck pain
- Back pain
- Long-lasting pain
- Discomfort that comes and goes
- Pain that gets worse over time
- Pain that worsens with movement or sitting
- Radiating pain down your lower back and buttocks
- Arm, hand, buttock, or leg pain
Your discomfort could be mild, moderate, or severe and crippling. See the team at Pain Medicine Group at the first sign of a problem.
What are the risk factors for degenerative disc disease?
Degenerative disc disease can happen to anyone, but some factors increase your risk of developing it. Examples include:
- Excess body weight
- Falling down
- Being a woman
- Physically demanding jobs
- Older age
- Heavy lifting
- Family history of degenerative disc disease
- Other spinal abnormalities
You can reduce your risk of developing degenerative disc disease by maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, eating nutritious foods, and getting regular exercise, among other strategies.
How does my doctor diagnose degenerative disc disease?
To find out if you have degenerative disc disease and develop a treatment plan if needed, your Pain Medicine Group provider asks about your symptoms, reviews your medical history, and completes a physical exam.
They assess pain levels and muscular strength and may order X-rays, CT scans, MRIs, other imaging procedures, or nerve function tests.
What are the treatments for degenerative disc disease?
Pain Medicine Group providers create personalized treatment plans for degenerative disc disease based on your unique needs. They could recommend:
Things you can do at home to relieve degenerative disc disease discomfort include low-impact exercise, ice or heat packs, gentle yoga, and regular stretching.
Taking certain medicines can reduce unpleasant symptoms or your risk of further disc deterioration. Your provider can let you know which types of medications, if any, are best for you.
Surgery for degenerative disc disease can remove, repair, or replace affected tissues and give you long-lasting pain relief.
Interventional procedures such as epidural injections, facet blocks, and radiofrequency ablations are used to manage pain, particularly in the neck and back. Here's how each of them works:
Epidural injections involve the delivery of steroids (and sometimes an anesthetic) into the epidural space of the spine, which can target herniated discs and pinched nerves. The steroids reduce inflammation and swelling, alleviating pressure on the nerves and other structures in the spine. This can help reduce pain, tingling, and numbness and improve other symptoms caused by such pressure.
Facet joints are small joints located at each segment of the spine that provide stability and guide motion. If these joints become inflamed, they can cause significant pain. A facet block is an injection of a local anesthetic and a steroid medication that can numb the facet joints and block the pain. The two drugs work together to decrease inflammation and interrupt the pain signals that the facet joints send to the brain.
- Radiofrequency Ablations (RFA)
Radiofrequency ablation is a minimally invasive procedure that uses heat generated by radio waves to target specific nerves and interfere with their ability to transmit pain signals. During the procedure, an electrical current produced by a radio wave is used to heat up a small area of nerve tissue, thereby decreasing pain signals from that specific area.
RFA is commonly used to treat patients with chronic (long-lasting) low-back and neck pain and pain related to the degeneration of joints from arthritis. The degree of pain relief varies, depending on the cause and location of the pain. Relief from pain can last several months to even years.
To get rid of pain brought on by degenerative disc disease, call the Pain Medicine Group office, or schedule an appointment online today.
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