Here is a quick lesson from Dr. Dana O’Neil!
In many different people spinal, or disc, degeneration is like a tooth decaying. Some people do not notice that the problem is there or how serious it is until it has been going on for years!
Facts about the different stages:
In the beginning, the spine may lose its normal balance or curvature. During this time, the discs, nerves and your posture may suffer. You are not likely to feel any pain but might experience some minor discomfort. You could also feel lethargic or experience changes in your posture to compensate for the slight degeneration of the discs.
At this stage, your postural changes may be greater as the degeneration is greater. It’s estimated that by age 40, about 78% of men and women exhibit moderate disc degeneration. During this phase, a person is much more likely to feel some aches and pains as well as fatigue. Unfortunately, many people will think the diminished energy and aches and pains are normal and not a sign of degenerative disc disease.
This stage is often seen in people ages 40 to 65. Further posture issues occur at this stage. However, there is also further damage to the spine as more severe nerve compression is likely, bone spurs may form and compress nerves and the individual may always feel tired.
During the final stages of lumbar degenerative disc disease, a person will begin to feel great discomfort and pain that radiates into the hips, legs and back. Disc degeneration can cause or augment other conditions like spinal stenosis, the narrowing of the spaces in the spine, spondylolisthesis, the slippage of one disc over another or osteoarthritis of the spine.
“It is better to wear out than to rust out.”
– Richard Cumberland