Lumbar degenerative disc disease symptoms are often theorized to make life terribly painful for some patients. However, in a great number of scenarios, pain exists coincidentally to any disc degeneration that is present in the lower back. Lumbar degenerative disc desiccation is certainly not a disease, nor is it the actual underlying cause of pain, or neurological symptoms, in the vast majority of diagnosed people. It is, however, one of the most prevalent scapegoat conditions in the back pain sector and is used extensively as an excuse for keeping patients in long-term and highly profitable treatment.
In ultra-severe instances, disc desiccation might be an actual cause of, or contributor to, lower back pain, but these circumstances do not represent the average patient or diagnosed case of this completely normal aspect of the aging process.
This dialog investigates symptomatic expressions in the lower back and legs, which may be linked to the occurrence of lumbar intervertebral disc degeneration.
Many patients have back pain and virtually every patient will demonstrate the signs of mild to advanced lumbar degenerative disc disease. In cases when the pain can not be traced to some other more logical anatomical source, such as a herniated disc or spinal arthritic process, the symptoms will typically be linked to the DDD, even though the condition is universal and almost always asymptomatic. This is one of the great injustices of the medical system and also one of the main reasons for our criticism of the medical management of most back pain syndromes.
Basically, disc desiccation has been elevated to the level of a disease, when it is proven to be no more harmful than gray hair or wrinkles in the skin, and maybe less so, in some cases.
There is no conclusive proof in the medical literature which links disc degeneration to the incidence of lumbar back pain or sciatica.
DDD is blamed for all types of symptoms, ranging from what one might expect it to enact (dull grinding arthritic-type pain) to muscle spasms in the back, buttocks, legs and feet.
Sometimes, DDD is implicated in causing a pinched nerve condition, and on rare occasions, this diagnosis may be correct. However, this is incredibly uncommon and does not account for the overwhelming number of patients who are diagnosed with DDD-related neuropathy. When it comes to medical diagnosis, each symptom is often not carefully considered. They are simply grouped together, often illogically, and pronounced to be caused directly from the normal and universal disc degeneration.
Since disc desiccation can be easily imaged, the visual evidence of some seemingly abnormal change in the spinal anatomy is more than enough proof for most naive patients, who usually suffer a downward spiral of pain, after positive diagnosis. However, the fact remains that in the overwhelming majority of diagnosed cases of DDD, there is simply no mechanism for pain that is ever identified. There is no nerve compression or central canal impingement, no definitive mechanical pain syndrome and symptoms often do not even match the anatomical location of the degeneration.
We know that disc disease sounds bad and is made far worse when a doctor or chiropractor takes out that stupid plastic spinal model and shows you how your disc is worn down and how the bones are rubbing together and pinching all those spinal nerves. This is nonsense in almost every case.
I remember how I felt at age 16, when I was diagnosed with DDD and how my chiropractor, and so many caregivers after him, took the opportunity to milk my bank account during 18 years of useless, ineffectual and unneeded treatments.
It is no surprise that more enlightened care providers often advise patients to save their time and save their money. Therapies for DDD are usually misguided and ineffectual anyway. They do nothing to resolve the degeneration and often involve risky methods of care, such as long-term pharmaceutical use.
Remember, there is nothing abnormal about lumbar disc degeneration. In fact, it would be extremely atypical to see any adult who did not demonstrate this normal age-related spinal alteration. Do not buy into the fear without learning the facts.