Occurs as the Condition of the Discs in the Spine Gradually Changes Over Time
An estimated 6 million people in the U.S. live with discogenic back pain.
Discogenic Back Pain Facts & Information
As we get older, the discs in our back go through a natural aging process. For many, this occurs without causing any noticeable symptoms. For others, it can be the source of persistent lower back or neck pain.
Those most commonly affected are 30 to 60 years of age. If you are among those who suffer, the good news is that discogenic back pain usually improves with the proper medical attention. Our pain management specialists will help you understand what’s causing your pain, develop personalized non-surgical treatment regimens to resolve your pain, and strengthen your spine now and for years to come.
How & Why Does Discogenic Back Pain Develop?
Discogenic pain occurs as the condition of the discs in the spine gradually changes over time. It is one of the most prevalent causes of acute or chronic back pain. You may experience only a few days of pain, or you may suffer prolonged, moderate to severe, recurrent pain. Most discogenic pain occurs in the lumbar spine (lower back).
When pain occurs, it may be spontaneous or it may result from an activity. The most frequent symptoms of discogenic pain are lower back pain and spasm. Occasionally, pain may radiate to the buttocks, groin, or thighs. Typically, the pain is made worse by bending, sitting, or standing in a stationary position, and often relieved by lying down. However, mild activity such as walking may actually provide some relief. Certain tasks, such as lifting or bending, will likely make the symptoms worse.
The lumbar (lower) spine has five vertebrae with soft discs in between. Each disc is composed of a tough outer ring (annulus) surrounding a soft center (nucleus). When we are young, the discs consist predominantly of water (about 80%), but as we age, the discs lose hydration and become more susceptible to cracking and fissures called annular tears. These tears lead to inflammation and pain.
-Lower (lumbar) back pain and spasms
-Pain radiating to the buttocks, groin, or thighs
Proper diagnosis starts with an experienced pain management doctor.The type of pain that you may have with discogenic back pain can be similar to the symptoms of several types of disorders. Accurately determining the correct source of your pain is critical to successful treatment.
-Begins with a thorough clinical evaluation
-Including a complete medical history, analysis of your symptoms, and physical examination
-Testing may include x-rays, MRI and/or CT scans, and electro-diagnosis (EMG)
-These advanced diagnostic techniques definitively pinpoint the source of pain