Degenerative disc disease becomes increasingly prevalent the older you get. In fact, the percentages usually keep up with your age — 40% of people have degenerative disc disease at age 40, 70% at age 70, and so on. At Faust Interventional Pain, the interventional pain management specialist Dr. Barry F. Faust, Jr. has extensive experience in reducing the impact the disease has on his patients in Metairie, Louisiana. If you’d like to explore your treatment options for degenerative disc disease, call the office or use the online booking tool.(504) 264-9530
Faust Interventional Pain
Barry F. Faust Jr., MD
Interventional Pain Medicine located in Metairie, LA
Degenerative Disc Disease Q & A
What is degenerative disc disease?
To best understand degenerative disc disease, it’s helpful to step back and take a look at the structure of your spine. Your spine is made up of 33 vertebrae, which are divided into five sections:
- Your cervical spine, or neck, with seven vertebrae
- Your thoracic spine, or mid back, with 12 vertebrae
- Your lumbar spine, or low back, with five vertebrae
- Your sacral spine, with five vertebrae
- Your coccyx
In between your vertebrae, you have 23 discs, which are donut-shaped “cushions” that allow movement between your vertebrae and prevent them from rubbing together.
Over time, wear and tear and the natural loss of moisture in your discs render them more fragile and brittle. This causes inflammation, which irritates the nerve roots along your spine.
What are the symptoms of degenerative disc disease?
Degenerative disc disease most often shows up in your neck or your low back — the two areas that enjoy the most movement and range of motion. The most common signs that your discs may be degenerating include:
- Nagging and chronic pain
- Shooting pain with certain movements or positions
- Weakness or instability in your spine
- Radiating pain through your legs or arms
- Muscle spasms
The episodes of pain can come and go or remain a constant companion. In either case, it’s best that you seek the help of Dr. Faust at Faust Interventional Pain.
What are the treatments for degenerative disc disease?
When it comes to degenerative disc disease, there’s very little that can be done to cure the underlying condition. There are, however, steps Dr. Faust can take to help with the symptoms and even restore disc health. To do this, he turns to:
Dr. Faust injects a steroid, sometimes paired with an anesthetic, into your spine to alleviate the pain and inflammation.
Medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and muscle relaxers can help reduce pain caused by the damaged disc and improve your quality of life.
If you’re suffering from degenerative disc disease, call Faust Interventional Pain, or use the online scheduling form to make an appointment.