What is disc desiccation and are there any symptoms that help in recognizing it?
Disc desiccation is a condition that affects the spinal column, or more precisely, the intervertebral discs. Practically any part of the spine can be affected, but the lumbar and the cervical regions seem to be much more susceptible to disc desiccation. When the fluid is lost in these discs, severe pain in the back due to their wear and tear is the result, because this fluid gives them the ability to absorb the shock between the two vertebrae. This condition is degenerative in nature and it can be a consequence of muscle imbalance, repeated injury to the spine, strain and some trauma, or it can also occur due to aging, which is why people who are over 50 are particularly prone to discdesiccation.
As for the symptoms that might help in recognizing this problem, the fact is that the pain is the most commonly present, which is exactly why it is not at all easy to recognize it in time. On the contrary, it usually takes months, or even years in some cases, before people who suffer from pain due to disc desiccation turn to their doctor for help. Due to the pain, people have problems with sleep and their every day activity can be affected as well, because they might not be able to perform all the activities that they used to.
Can disc desiccation be treated?
X-ray and MRI scan usually help the doctor to confirm the diagnosis and once the diagnosis is set, the appropriate treatment will be suggested. First of all, in case a patient is overweight, it is necessary to do something about the excessive weight, since it puts additional pressure and stress upon the spine, the disc in question and the muscles and tissues that surround it. Some medications for alleviating pain will have to be used as well, and generally ibuprofen is effective enough and it does not require medical prescription. What might also help is massage, because it will relieve the pressure and increase the flexibility and range of motion. Surgery is a solution only in cases when the methods of treatment that have been mentioned do not help. However, the patient should hear at least two different doctors and their professional opinions on the case before opting for surgery, because several serious risks are involved.