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Degenerative Disc Disease Symptoms & Diagnosis

Symptoms

Symptoms of degenerative disk disease include:

  • Pain in the low back, buttocks, thighs, or neck
  • Pain that worsens when sitting, bending, lifting, or twisting
  • Pain that feels better when walking, changing positions, or lying down
  • Periods of severe pain that gets better after a few days or months
  • Numbness and tingling into the legs
  • Weakness in the legs
  • Foot drop (inability to raise the foot at the ankle)

Diagnosis

Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Other tests may include:

  • Blood and/or urine tests to rule out other causes of pain
  • MRI scan —a test that uses magnetic waves to make pictures of structures inside the body
  • X-ray —a test that uses radiation to take a picture of structures inside the body, especially the bones
  • Discography —dye is injected into the affected spinal area to get clearer x-ray images

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2019 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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