What is Disc Desiccation?

The intense deterioration of intervertebral discs which are present in the spine is known as disc desiccation. The deterioration of disks increases with age, while gradual disc desiccation is to an extent an ordinary part of aging. It occurs due to substitution of hydrophilic glycosaminoglycan within the nucleus pulposus with fibrocartilage.

What is Disc Desiccation & How is it Treated?

Is Disc Desiccation a Painful Experience?

The deterioration condition of disc desiccation can be extremely painful. You should not overlook it, since it is the earliest sign of extremely dangerous degeneration. You can control the problem or even prevent extremely dangerous back problems and surgery, if you can handle the condition properly and at the right time. Here are some important points on causes and treatment choices.

A flat disc is present between every two bones in your spinal column, known as vertebrae. These discs act as shock absorbers and cushions, hence protecting your spine. Annulus fibrosis that surrounds the jelly like nucleus pulposus makes the discs tough. Loss of fluid in the discs causes disc desiccation, hence the basis of the condition name. Disc desiccation comes from two terms, diskos in greek meaning disc and desiccar in Latin which means to dry up.

What are the Causes of Disc Desiccation?

Natural aging process is the main cause of the condition of disc desiccation. A section of the fluid in your disc disappears as you grow older, which is normal. However, disc desiccation is experienced by most people throughout their lifetime. Individuals aged 60 years and above suffering from the condition of disc desiccation are many.

Trauma and repeated strain or injury on the back can also cause the condition of disc desiccation. However, the causes are at fault if the condition affects young people.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Disc Desiccation?

The signs and symptoms of disc desiccation can either occur gradually or quickly after an injury. Some of the symptoms are:

  • Reflexes change can be a symptom of disc desiccation.
  • Discomfort or pain is a sign of disc desiccation.
  • Pain in the spine as a result of movement can be a sign of disc desiccation.
  • Weakness, numbness or tingling sensations are also signs of disc desiccation.

How is Disc Desiccation Treated?

You can reduce the pain caused by the condition of disc desiccation by doing various activities. You should talk to your doctor about treatment choices, including the ones shortlisted here. Nevertheless, some of the processes do not have permanent or lasting outcomes.

  • Massage therapy can help in relieving the pain caused by disc desiccation. You can take pressure away from the area affected, by relaxing associated muscles.
  • Physiotherapy or physical therapy can help in treating disc desiccation. You can relieve pain by performing regular exercises which strengthen muscles surrounding your spine. You can also have ice and heat therapies.
  • Medication can help in reducing the pain of disc desiccation. You can have some temporary relive by taking pain killers and relaxants. However, you should only take the medicine after the approval by your doctor.
  • Weight loss can help in treating disc desiccation. If you have excess weight, shedding the extra weight relieves pressure on the affected disc. You should take a healthy diet and exercise daily but avoid high impact activities that are strenuous to your back.
  • Chiropractic care can treat disc desiccation. Chiropractors aid in aligning your back via natural methods, evening pressure and relieving muscles though posture fixing. Many individuals have claimed visiting a chiropractor is a basic for treatment of back pain.
  • Surgery can be an option for treating severe case of disc desiccation. It is the last option, if you have tried other treatments and still experience dangerous pain. You should seeking medical advice before deciding on it. The process involves fusion of the spinal, whereby the affected disc is removed and joined to the adjacent vertebrae using screws and rods. Other times, an artificial disc can be inserted. Although it is good in eliminating pain, it should be the last option.

If you suspect disc desiccation, the initial step is to visit a doctor. Additionally, keep of any activity that will strain your spine. As one gets older, disc degeneration occurs. It is therefore important to seek advice about exercises and stretches you should perform from your doctor, even if you are not experiencing the condition, just to ensure you strengthen muscles supporting your back.

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD, FFARCSI

Last Modified On: June 11, 2016

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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