What Is Degenerative Disc Disease?

On Behalf of | May 9, 2019 | Personal Injury

While insurance companies and employers might insist that your back pain & spinal problems are a normal part of life, you may nevertheless be entitled to compensation under Florida law.

Getting older means our bodies slow down, and sometimes, moving around is painful. It is especially common to feel pain in the neck, back, or extremities. This happens because of the jelly-like discs in our spine, which cushion each vertebrae (spinal bone) and act as a kind of “shock absorber.” Over time, these discs start to break down and wear out. 

But sometimes, spinal discs begin to wear out earlier or faster than they are supposed to. When that happens, it is called degenerative disc disease.

People who suffer degenerative disc disease because of an injury that someone else caused — or because of their job duties or working conditions — may be entitled to compensation for their pain, suffering, medical costs, and other damages. In today’s article, we provide a general overview of this painful condition, including:

• Degenerative disc disease causes

• Degenerative disc disease symptoms

• Degenerative disc disease treatment

• Can degenerative disc disease be cured?

We’ll also look at your rights under Florida law and how our Miami degenerative disc disease attorneys can help.

Degenerative Disc Disease Causes

Common causes of degenerative disc disease include:

  • Overexertion at work
  • Jobs that require heavy lifting, pushing, pulling, bending, reaching, etc.
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Falls from heights
  • Falling object injuries
  • Trauma to the neck, back, or spine
  • Auto accidents

Many of the most common degenerative disc disease causes are associated with routine job-related wear and tear. Repetitive stress or strain — even in desk jobs that might put undue strain on the spine from excessive sitting and poor orthopedic posture — can lead to early vertebral disc degeneration.

But even if your condition develops as part of your daily work routine, that doesn’t mean it’s “just a normal part of getting older,” as your employer or the insurance companies might tell you.

While many people will eventually develop some disc degeneration as a natural part of aging, early or excessive degeneration caused by work conditions or by someone else’s negligence may entitle you to compensation under Florida law.

Degenerative Disc Disease Symptoms

Some people who develop degenerative disc disease will never experience symptoms. Others will feel moderate and occasional pain, especially when moving or flexing the spine.

But in more serious cases of degenerative disc disease, the pain can become intense or even debilitating.

Degenerative disc pain is often referred to a different part of your body. In other words, even though the damage is in your spine, you may feel it somewhere else.

Depending on which part of your spine is degenerating, you might feel pain, weakness, tingling, numbness, or muscle spasms in any of these areas:

  • Back
  • Neck
  • Buttocks
  • Thighs
  • Legs
  • Feet
  • Shoulders
  • Arms
  • Hands

Degenerative disc symptoms vary from one person to the next, and they may come and go (“flare up”). Complications can develop over time, including:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Herniated disc
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Breakdown of cartilage
  • Reduced range of motion/difficulty moving
  • Degenerative disc disease in neck

Degenerative Disc Disease Treatment

Methods of treatment for degenerative discs include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Medication
  • Surgery
  • Occupational therapy
  • Steroid injections in nearby joints
  • Radiofrequency current (rhizotomy) and other nerve treatments
  • A back brace
  • Weight loss treatments (to ease pressure on the spine)
  • A special catheter therapy called Intradiscal Electrothermal Annuloplasty (IEA)

People who develop the condition as a result of an injury or because of their job may be entitled to financial compensation for the costs of degenerative disc disease treatment, as well as lost income due to work absences required for treatment, along with other personal injury damages and/or workers’ comp benefits (depending on the circumstances).

Can Degenerative Disc Disease Be Cured?

There is no true cure for degenerative disc disease. While some people experience significant relief from their symptoms after treatment, most forms of degenerative disc disease treatment are temporary or short-term in nature. Generally speaking, the condition will worsen with age. Repeat or ongoing treatments may be required. 

You Don’t Pay Unless We Get You Money. Schedule a Free Consultation Today.

Whether you are suffering from degenerative disc disease in the neck or back or are experiencing symptoms anywhere else in your body, no one deserves to live with pain or reduced agility because of their job or because of an injury that someone else caused.

The Miami degenerative disc disease attorneys at Kaire & Heffernan, LLC have years of experience in helping injured people throughout the state of Florida. 

We will not charge you for our services unless and until we recover compensation in your case, and the initial no-obligation consultation is absolutely free.

To learn more about your rights and options (which may include a personal injury claim or a workers’ compensation claim, depending on the circumstances), schedule a free consultation with the Miami birth injury attorneys at Kaire & Heffernan, LLC today.

Mark Kaire has been practicing law in Miami for nearly 15 years. He is dedicated to helping the injured people of Miami receive compensation. Mr. Kaire has been blogging on Miami’s legal issues for 4 years.