Defining Degenerative Disc Disease Intervertebral disc degeneration is a very common problem among both men and women. It can be a result of the normal aging process, and is often times asymptomatic. The intervertebral discs are an integral part of the spine all the way from the neck down to the low back. They help maintain stability and alignment of the vertebral bodies (refer to diagram below) as well as help to absorb shock exerted through the spine during daily activities. Following are some risk factors associated with the development of degenerative disc disease (DDD): aging, injury or trauma to the spine, heavy and repetitive activities, and poor nutrition. There is another factor that may actually initiate or accelerate the development of DDD, and that would be smoking cigarettes. At this point in time, most people are aware of the dangers and risk factors associated with smoking, but it may not be as widely known that smoking can contribute to low back pain associated with DDD. The Two Ways that Smoking can Impact the Development of DDD The issue with smoking as it relates to the development of DDD involves nicotine, which is the main ingredient in tobacco. Nicotine is […]
What is a herniated disc? A herniated disc is when material from a vertebral disc ruptures into the spinal canal. Your spine is made of up a column of vertebrae separated by discs. Your nerves runs down behind the column of vertebral bodies and discs. You can think of the discs like a jelly donut. The outer shell (donut dough) can break open and let some of the jelly (inner disc material) stick out. The rupture of this jelly-like material into the canal can compress the nerves in the spine, causing significant leg pain, numbness, tingling and/or weakness. Herniated discs can occur anywhere along the spinal column. The most common location is in the lumbar (lower back) area, which is what the rest of this article will focus on. What are the causes and risk factors of a herniated disc? Herniated discs can be due to injury or due to the normal aging process of the spine. Different risk factors that increase your chance of having a herniated disc include male gender, genetic predisposition, obesity, repetitive heavy lifting, improper lifting mechanics, repetitive bending/twisting, prolonged/frequent driving, sedentary life and smoking. Although there are a few risk factors that cannot be avoided, […]
We have just opened a new location in the Leechburg area! It is located at 116 Main Street, Leechburg, PA 15626; and will be replacing our Spine Center Wexford location. Our Spine Doctors will be at the Leechburg location starting February 8th. We look forward to serving patients in Leechburg and surrounding areas!