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Degenerative Disc Disease Specialist

Center for Neurosurgery Las Vegas

Neurosurgery & Minimally Invasive and Complex Spine Neurosurgeon located in Las Vegas, NV

Daily activities, sports injuries, even the passage of time can cause painful wear-and-tear to your spinal discs. This is called degenerative disc disease. Board-certified, multi-fellowship-trained neurosurgeon Scott Glickman, DO, FACOS, provides surgical and non-surgical treatments for degenerative disc disease at the Center for Neurosurgery Las Vegas. If you think your back pain is being caused by degenerative disc disease, call the office in Las Vegas, Nevada, today or request an appointment online.

Degenerative Disc Disease Q & A

What is degenerative disc disease?

Despite its name, degenerative disc disease isn’t a disease, but a progressive condition caused by wear-and-tear on or injury to the discs in your spine.

Discs act as shock-absorbing cushions between the vertebrae that make up your spinal column. They help you stand up straight, twist, and bend over. Each disc has a tough outer layer and a soft, gel-like interior.

Over time, nearly everyone’s spinal discs show signs of wear. When a damaged disc causes pain, it’s called degenerative disc disease. Without treatment, degenerative disc disease can lead to spinal arthritis.

What causes degenerative disc disease?

Many things can contribute to degenerative disc disease. Discs dry out and shrink with age, which means they don’t absorb shock as well. Repetitive activities and exercise can gradually cause small tears in the outer layer of a disc. Back injuries can also lead to degenerative disc disease.

How do I know if I have degenerative disc disease?

Most people with degenerative disc disease are healthy, active adults in their 30s or 40s. Common symptoms of degenerative disc disease include:

  • Back pain that gets worse when sitting, bending, twisting, and lifting
  • Pain that goes away when walking or running
  • Numbness and tingling in the legs and/or arms
  • Muscle weakness in the legs and/or arms

If any of these symptoms worry you, call Dr. Glickman at the Center for Neurosurgery Las Vegas. He can diagnose degenerative disc disease based on a medical history review and physical exam. He can also order a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) procedure to find out how much disc damage has been done.

How is degenerative disc disease treated?

At the Center for Neurosurgery Las Vegas, Dr. Glickman always recommends the most conservative treatments first. Non-surgical treatments for degenerative disc disease include:

  • Pain-relieving medications
  • Physical therapy
  • Exercises to strengthen your back
  • Hot or cold therapy
  • Back bracing
  • Alternative treatments like acupuncture

If your condition is severe or your pain continues despite treatment, Dr. Glickman could recommend surgery. He performs a variety of procedures to treat degenerative disc disease, including disc replacement and spinal fusion.

For expert care of degenerative disc disease, call the Center for Neurosurgery Las Vegas today, or book an appointment online.