Degeneration (thinning, bulging, cracking) of the soft discs that separate bony vertebrae can come with age and general wear-and-tear on the back. This can include loss of cushioning fluid in the discs, which reduces their ability to absorb shock and allows the vertebrae to move closer together. That’s why most of us lose 1 to 2 inches in height by age 70. Cracks or tears in the disc allow the “jelly” inside the disc to escape, causing a bulge… this is a herniated disc, ruptured disc or slipped disc. Smoking, obesity and hard physical work increases your likelihood of developing a degenerated disc or discs.
How Our Doctors Diagnose
We begin with a physical examination and a thorough discussion of the pain you’re experiencing and your medical history. We’ll perform a discogram, an imaging technique that “lights up” the disc(s) with contrast dye, so we can detect damage or dysfunction.
- Dorsal root ganglion therapy (DRG)
- Spinal cord stimulation (SCS)
- Peripheral nerve stimulation (PNS)
- Epidural steroid injection (ESI)
- Facet joint injections
- Lumbar epidural steroid injections(LESI)
- Transforaminal epidural steroid injections (Transforaminal ESI)
- Radiofrequency ablation (neuorotomy) (RFA)