Degenerative disc disease (DDD) is typically associated with aging. As you age, your discs, like other joints in the body, can degenerate (break down) and become problematic: That’s a natural part of growing older as your body deals with years of strain, overuse, and maybe even misuse. However, DDD can occur in people as young as 20, so sadly, youth doesn’t always protect you from this disc-related spinal condition. In fact, some patients may inherit a prematurely aging spine.
What Is a Herniated Disc? Herniation of the nucleus pulposus occurs when the nucleus pulposus (gel-like inner substance) breaks through the anulus fibrosus (tire-like outer structure) of an intervertebral disc (spinal shock absorber). See the image below to see these parts of the intervertebral disc pointed out.
The sciatic nerve is the longest and largest nerve in the body; it measures three-quarters of an inch in diameter. It originates in the sacral plexus; a network of nerves in the low back (lumbosacral spine). The lumbosacral spine refers to the lumbar spine and the sacrum combined. The sciatic nerve and its nerve branches enable movement and feeling (motor and sensory functions) in the thigh, knee, calf, ankle, foot, and toes. The sciatic nerve and the lumbosacral spine is pictured below.
Spinal refers to the spine. Stenosis is a medical term used to describe a condition where a normal-size opening has become narrow. Spinal stenosis may affect the cervical (neck), thoracic (chest), or lumbar (lower back) spines. The most commonly area affected is the lumbar spine followed by the cervical spine.
We all have curves in our spines, but scoliosis causes the spine to curve in the wrong direction. It causes sideways curves, and those are different from the spine’s normal curves.
Spondylosis (spinal osteoarthritis) is a degenerative disorder that may cause loss of normal spinal structure and function. Although aging is the primary cause, the location and rate of degeneration is individual. The degenerative process of spondylosis may affect the cervical (neck), thoracic (mid-back), or lumbar (low back) regions of the spine.
Headaches can literally be a pain in the neck. They are frequently caused by joint or muscular dysfunction in the neck, poor posture, emotional tension or a combination of these. Headaches originating from or relating to neck dysfunction can be very successfully treated & prevented by Manual Therapy and Physiotherapy.