Discogenic Pain

Discogenic pain or pain due to lumbar disc degeneration is a very common cause of low back pain.  It is estimated to be the cause of low back pain in approximately 40% of the cases.  Common symptoms are axial low back pain i.e. pain that runs across the back with or without in some cases radicular pain i.e. pain that radiates into the legs.  The nature of the pain is also described as a deep midline aching pain which is made worse with axial loading from e.g. lifting heavy objects, or prolonged standing or sitting. Discogenic Pain Treatment is the prescribed treatment to alleviate the pain.

A lumbar disc is analogous to a jelly donut which is responsible for cushioning the vertebral bodies that represent the bony structures that make up the spine.  As a normal part of aging, the jelly part of the donut starts to dry up.  This process eventually starts to cause degradation in the hard part of the donut also known as the annulus fibrosus.  This eventually causes the radial or concentric fissures in the lumbar disc which can be a source of pain.  One explanation is that these fissures develop nerve fibers that transmit pain signals.

Diagnoses:

X-rays, CT scans, and MRI studies can demonstrate disc degeneration, however, they cannot definitively demonstrate that the disc is painful.  Sometimes a diagnostic test known as a discogram is needed to demonstrate that the degenerative changes are the cause of pain.  The lowest three lumbar disc’s L3-4, L4-5, L5-S1 are the most commonly affected.

Treatment:

Conservative Discogenic Pain Treatment is the first recommended treatment option for most cases of degenerative disc disease of the spine.

1. Rest

2. Activity modification

-the goal is to avoid the aggravation of the injured lumbar disc.

– avoid lifting heavy objects.

– avoid activities e.g. sporting activities that cause excessive bending or twisting of the spine (e.g. basketball, tennis soccer).

3. Exercise and physical therapy

4. Application of heat and or ice

5. Medications (NSAIDS, Tylenol, muscle relaxants, opioids can be considered on a case-by-case basis if other conservative measures and non-opiate medications have failed.)

6. Lumbar epidural steroid injection

7. Endoscopic discectomy DISC FX

8. Decompressive lumbar spine bracing

If you are experiencing pain, contact Innovative Pain Solutions to administer Discogenic Pain Treatment and give you the relief you seek.

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