Aging Spine

The spine is made up of bones and discs. The discs are like gelatin. As we get older, the discs start to dry out and no longer cushion the bones.

Without the cushioning of the discs, the nerve roots or spinal cord (or both) start to get pinched or pressured. This condition is called aging degeneration or disc degeneration.

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Symptoms

Pressure on the nerve roots or spinal cord causes back pain. Other symptoms will vary depending on which nerves are under pressure.

Causes and Risk Factors

The drying out of the discs causes this condition. The older a person is, the greater his or her risk.

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Treatments

There are several treatment options, including:

  • Non-surgical care, which can include over-the-counter pain relievers, back braces or other approaches that are not invasive or permanent in their effects
  • Surgery
  • Invasive pain management such as epidural injections or nerve root injections
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