It is possible that you have degenerative disc disease. Degenerative disc disease (DDD) is a condition affecting any part of the spine that is most often associated with aging and most commonly presents itself in the lumbar (lower back) or cervical spine (neck).
It is in most cases a natural part of the breaking down of the body
that we experience as we grow older. However DDD is found in all age groups, even a young 20 year old can experience this problematic condition, a young person can inherit a prematurely aging spine.
To understand DDD it is important to have an understanding of the important role that the disc plays in out spinal anatomy. You have 33 vertebrae in the vertebral column and in between each disc, you have an intervertebral disc.
The disc offers cushioning, a bit like a shock absorber to protect our vertebrae as it moves. Each disc is made up of a tough outer band called the annulus fibrosis that has an inner gel like substance called nucleus pulpous. DDD changes the makeup and structure of the disc making it less prone to movement and absorbing impact. As the disc changes and breaks down it becomes more susceptible to a bulge or a herniation.
Typical pain patterns of DDD include:-
More pain when sitting for a long time
More pain when bending, lifting or twisting
Less pain when walking or running
Less pain if you change positions often
Less pain when you lie down
Statistics show low back pain accounts for thousands of visits to the doctor each year, This accounts for millions of dollars on wasted revenue and loss of wages. In the US, low back pain is the single greatest reason for lost productivity in the US (Patel). The precise incidence of lumbar disc degeneration is unknown because of the large number of asymptomatic cases that go unreported.
You can manage your back pain caused by DDD in a variety of ways, the first port of call is either your doctor or other professional such as Chiropractor, Physiotherapist or Osteotherapist.
Depending on the degree of your pain, more often than not you will be prescribed weight bearing exercises such as
Pilates and stretches that will increase your core strength, flexibility & spine
mobility. Ensure that you are directed or trained by a professional that is trained in managing spinal diseases and injury. Exercise may be the last thing that you feel like doing when you have back pain, but it is essential in keeping the disc lubricated and moving to prevent further degeneration.