Is degenerative disc disease hereditary?

Is degenerative disc disease hereditary

Back pain comes in many different forms. Often, it’s related to muscle pain from sprains. It can also be caused by spinal conditions like degenerative disc disease (DDD).

DDD is a condition in which one or more of the discs between your vertebrae wear down. These discs are supposed to cushion the vertebrae and prevent friction between each vertebra. When they wear down, they can no longer function properly. This leads to chronic back pain and limited range of motion.

Fortunately, physical therapists and other healthcare professionals can treat DDD and help improve the quality of life in those it affects. However, you may be wondering if it’s possible to prevent DDD from occurring in the first place, so you won’t ever need treatment for it.

What causes DDD?

The exact cause of DDD is not always known, but it’s generally the result of old age. As we grow older, the fluid in the discs tends to dry out, which causes them to fall flat.

Other causes of DDD include injury and repetitive use from physical activity. In some cases, it can be brought on by genetics.

DDD and genetics

DDD is likely to affect anyone in old age, but it can form earlier in life due to genetics. Some genes increase the risk of excessive disc wear and tear, which can cause DDD to form at a younger age. If you have severe or chronic back pain and know someone in your family has DDD, you should visit a medical professional for a diagnosis.

Diagnosing and treating DDD

Your healthcare provider can determine if the cause of your back pain is DDD by physically examining your spine. He or she may also order some imaging tests, including an X-ray, a CT scan or an MRI. These images help rule out other potential causes of back pain that can be confused for DDD.

If you’re diagnosed with DDD, your healthcare provider will recommend treatment. Often, physical therapy is recommended because it’s effective and noninvasive.

Visit Holland Physical Therapy for DDD treatment

At Holland Physical Therapy, our physical therapists can treat DDD using a variety of treatments, including:

  • Stretches and exercises
  • Hot and cold therapyHands-on therapy

Are you suffering from chronic back pain caused by DDD? Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.