Disc desiccation is part of a normal process of aging, but there are things you can do to slow it down.
By Dawn Flemming
Discs on your spine have a spongy element between them. They are full of fluid which gives them their spongy texture.
They are important because they absorb shocks and prevent disc damage when you get into accidents or make intense movements.
Disc desiccation is a process through which the spongy parts of the disc lose fluid and as a result lose their ability to absorb shocks. This dehydration of disks is very common and is part of the aging process.
However, sometimes disc desiccation is caused by injuries, accidents, repeated strain from lifting heavy things or even quick weight loss.
Symptoms and Diagnosis
The symptoms include pain, weakness, and tingling sensation. Sometimes the feeling is numbness, but the most usual symptom is stiffness.
Disc desiccation can only be properly diagnosed through X-rays, CT or MRI scans.
Unfortunately there is no “cure” for disc desiccation but there are ways to treat the pain or slow down the process.
Pain treatment includes anti-inflammatory medication, physical therapy or even anti-inflammatory injections.
But remember, prevention is always better. Here is a list of things you can do to slow down the process of disc desiccation:
- Exercise and weight lifting. This will strengthen the soft tissue between your discs and joints, but make sure that weights are not too heavy as this may have an adverse effect.
- Stretching exercises like yoga, particularly in places where your discs are desiccated.
- Keeping a healthy weight. Putting on lots of weight strains your joints and soft tissue.
- Drink lots of water
- Keep a good posture. Bad posture will wear out your soft tissue.
Dawn Flemming is Director of Business Services at Geriatric In-Home Care in Fresno, California.