Degenerative Spinal Disorders

Degenerative spinal disorders involve the gradual loss of structure and function of the spine over time. It is usually caused due to aging. It might also occur as a result of tumors, infections or arthritis. Degenerative means the cause is age related wear and tear and not trauma, infection or some other cause.


What are the symptoms of Degenerative Spine Disorders?

Degenerative spinal conditions have varied presentations. Some do not cause any symptoms. When there are symptoms it is usually back pain or neck pain. Most symptoms depend upon the location of the degeneration and also on the type of the problem.

Back pain 1
Back pain
Loss of bladder control
Bowel or bladder incontinence
Pain in the neck
Neck or back pain
Numbness 2
Weakness, numbness or tingling in the arms and legs
Weight loss
Unexplained weight loss
Decreased respiratory capacity
Difficulty breathing or swallowing
Pain in the neck
Neck or back pain after injury or trauma
  • Discs
    Intervertebral discs change with age and lose their ability to cushion the joints. They might crack and their jelly like core might protrude. This is called a herniated disc. Or they might collapse and dry out causing a condition called degenerative disc disease.
  • Bones and cartilage
    When the cartilage at the joints wear down, the vertebrae may rub against one another. This causes the growth of bone spurs that may restrict motion and compress the nerve roots and spinal cord.
  • Ligaments
    The ligaments in the spinal column might thicken, resulting in stiffness, pain or it might compress nerve roots
  • Wear and tear related to age
  • Sports activities
  • Injuries