Neck or Back Pain Richland
Neck or back pain Richland, Kennewick and Pasco – Risk Factors for Degenerative Disc Disease.
Degenerative Disc Disease is a general term for the condition in which a damaged vertebral disc causes neck or back Pain. Knowing the Risk factors for Degenerative Disc Disease can be very helpful to develop a positive long term result for people suffering from back or neck pain.
As with many other diseases Degenerative Disc Disease is caused by controllable and also non-controllable factors. Genetics, certain types of physical activities or work a person is involved in, nicotine use, core muscle strength, core flexibility, age, and body weight are some of the factors that can contribute to back and neck pain related to degenerative disc disease.
There are many people who are genetically prone to disc disease. It can run in families in much the same way as diabetes or high blood pressure. For individuals with this type of family history it becomes very important to focus on lifestyle changes to mitigate the risk of developing pain from disc disease. Exercises that build up the core muscles (Yoga, Pilates, and Tai-Chi) and are focused on flexibility are excellent options.
Certain types of activities or work that require repetitive bending and lifting, or that require long hours of standing or sitting without a break can put a person at greater risk for Disc Disease. Also, as a person ages, their risk of disc disease increases.
Nicotine use is a factor that contributes to Disc Disease and also has been shown to result in a very high rate of failure from medical and surgical treatment. Stopping nicotine use becomes critical to healing once someone develops pain from degenerative disc disease. Many times the interventions we as doctors have in our toolbox to help patients who are suffering are not as effective in a person who uses nicotine. Surgery, especially, has a high rate of failure with nicotine (in some studies as high as a 70% failure rate).
Knowing these risk factors becomes critical to treating disc disease with a combination of medical treatments as well as lifestyle changes. Relying solely on the medical or surgical treatment options for neck or back pain without adjusting risk factors in your lifestyle is not an ideal treatment choice as the medical or surgical treatments do not tend to help with the ill effects of poor core strength or nicotine use as an example.
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JANMEET SAHOTA, DO
Board Certified & Fellowship Trained Spinal Surgeon
Tri-Cities – Richland, Kennewick and Pasco Washington