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The Many Complications of Degenerative Disc Disease

Degenerative disc disease (DDD) is a chronic back pain disorder that slowly progresses over time. Studies show that it affects about 30% of people by the age of 35 and over 90% of people by the age of 60.

At The Spine & Pain Center of California in Fremont and Pleasanton, our double board-certified physician Navin Mallavaram, MD, and the rest of our team specialize in treating your back pain with cutting-edge, innovative, conservative therapies.

We understand the intricacies of your back. Your discs cushion the space between the bones in your spine. They’re made up of cartilage, tissue, and water, and essentially serve as shock absorbers.

As you get older, they start to flatten out, which causes them to bulge and break down. They ultimately deteriorate over time and can cause various symptoms.

Symptoms of degenerative disc disease

Your disc generation can appear in different locations in your back, which is why each person’s symptoms can vary. 

You mostly feel chronic pain in your back and neck. However, as you age, your discs can shift and cause bone spurs. As these bony growths get bigger, they take up space that your spinal cord needs. When this happens, the surrounding nerves can get restricted and result in numbness and weakness running down your arms and legs.

When you come in to see us for an examination, we can run tests to accurately diagnose your condition and create a personalized treatment plan for you.


To see the inner workings of your spine, we perform imaging tests that include:

Our tests help us identify the source of your issue and the severity of it.


We take a conservative, nonoperative approach to your DDD that includes:

We also recommend strengthening exercises to keep the muscles around your discs strong. Increased blood flow can also reduce any swelling and send oxygen to the affected area in your back.

In more severe cases, you may need surgery. However, as the leading interventional orthopedic center in Northern California, we have great success with our advanced treatments. 

If you’re having symptoms of DDD, or if you’d like to learn more about this condition, contact us for a consultation at the office closer to you. You can also send our team a message by clicking here if you have any questions or concerns.

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