The discs between your vertebrae can suffer damage that causes discogenic pain. If you have back or neck pain that could be due to a disc injury, visit SEPA Pain and Spine at the practice’s Horsham, Langhorne, Meadowbrook, or Chalfont offices in Pennsylvania. The pain medicine experts provide comprehensive treatment that reduces pain and helps the discs to heal. Call your nearest SEPA Pain and Spine office or book an appointment online today to benefit from sophisticated discogenic pain relief.
Discogenic pain affects the intervertebral discs — shock absorbent pads between the vertebrae in your spine that provide stability and protection.
The main symptom is an aching pain that, unlike many back pain causes, doesn’t spread down your legs or arms and doesn’t cause limb weakness or loss of function.
Discogenic lower back pain typically worsens when doing activities that cause spinal compression, such as sitting, bending, or coughing. The pain improves when you lie down, which relieves the compression.
Discogenic neck pain worsens when you tip or bend your head or if your head stays in one position for too long. You might also experience muscle spasms.
The most likely cause of discogenic pain is degenerative disc disease. This age-related wear-and-tear condition develops in mid-life as the discs deteriorate from years of use. Age also causes the discs to become drier, harder, and flatter, making them more vulnerable to damage.
Each disc has a tough outer coating (annulus fibrosus) and a soft core (nucleus pulposus). Degenerative disc disease weakens the annulus, allowing the nucleus to squeeze through into the spinal canal (disc herniation).
Discogenic pain could develop if inflammation or other conditions affect the nerve receptors in the outer annulus. For instance, the inflammatory chemicals a tear produces could irritate the outer annulus’s nerves, causing discogenic pain.
If a disc bulge or herniation presses on nerves in the spinal canal, it can cause radiculopathy — pain, tingling, numbness, and weakness that spreads into the limbs.
Discogenic pain may improve without treatment, but if your pain persists or worsens, you should seek help from SEPA Pain and Spine. They evaluate your symptoms and may perform discography, using image guidance to inject contrast material into one or more discs to identify the source of your pain.
Depending on what’s causing your pain and its severity, your provider will likely start with conservative treatments, including anti-inflammatory medication and physical therapy. Severe pain that isn’t improving might require steroid injections into the nerve roots.
Steroids have potent anti-inflammatory properties that reduce inflammation and pain for several months, sometimes longer. Orthobiologic injections like platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and healing cells could also help by stimulating tissue repair.
To learn more about these and other cutting-edge discogenic pain treatments, call SEPA Pain and Spine today or book an appointment online.