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Turns out it is DDD

driftwoodddriftwood Posts: 81
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:47 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
After getting MRIS and having my doc tell me everything looks normal then getting two different opinions from specialists they confirmed that I have DDD and a couple small buldges and tears.

SO what do I do now? Will the tears heal? will this get worse? where will I be from 10years? who do I see?

he just said not impact stuff.


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,841
    telling you.

    Keeping that in mind, DDD (Degenerative Disc Disease) is probably the most misunderstood spinal condition. In a nut shell, its really the aging of our spines. Most people by the time they are 28 will show some signs of DDD.

    It can come on sooner or more advanced due to Trauma, Spinal Surgeries, and Genetic situations.
    Most cases of DDD will not require surgery. Over the Counter NSAIDs and an approved exercise program is what is needed to manage that condition.

    Take a look at this Spine-Health section:

    Degenerative Disc Disease

    There is all sorts of detailed information regarding DDD there, including videos and treatments. You will also find information regarding annular tears in there.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Thank you,
    I started there 6months ago only to be told it was not the issue. Now after 6months of issues, being told by the doc, its in my head etc. So I got it from t1 to c1 three a slighly bulging two are torn.

    SO while the Surgeon is waiting for it to get bad enough to operate I have to take initiative to make sure I do the best I can.

    I was told it would probably cause issues off adn on my whole life.
  • Driftwood,

    First off, glad to see you have finally gotten some answers! As Ron said, DDD is a nasty word for getting older in the spine! My NS calls it "Gray hairs of the spine" actually. A lot of people, the progression is slow, so they may never even have symptoms! I've noticed with my surgeries, everything "possible" is listed for the diagnosis:

    Hernia xx
    Adjacent level failure
    Osteophyte complex

    But the surgery was for the more serious issues. I think for insurance and liability, all has to be listed? As for the tears and such, we all wish we had a crystal ball about tomorrow, next year, 5,10,20 years. Like a hernia, your tears will be watched I am sure to see if they get worse, and if so if surgery is the answer.

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Good to hear you got a diagnoses. Did your doctors suggest any treatment plan, such as physical therapy to get you over the hump. Some will get over the hump of it and never have issues again. But you will just need to pay attention to what you do and use proper body mechanics and also good posture. If your using a computer frequently you might want to look at a good ergonomic setup to keep you at the proper angles. But good posture is so important to keep all of the surrounding neck muscles in good strength.
  • thanks all I appreciate the responses.

    When this initially happened I was told it was not the DDD, specificlaly yes I had it but it was not the root cause. Know apparantly it is.

    As far as people with DDD not sure how serious it is, the tears etc. Small tear vs big tear and so.

    TO be honest I am not so hot on pt more so because I did it for 3months and never got so far. I tihnk a big reason was I did treatment without know it the cause.

    I have tried to do all I can with ergonomics etc so am still in the process of having my mind settle in on this.

    The part I am dissapointed in is the docs did not really tell me what to do in detail.

    I had to initiate and force the MRI issue a little, on my own I visited 3docs unlciding multiple visits to the urgent care..

    I understand that everyone gets it, but my understanding is that for mine is was something that set it in motion. And am not sure if the visit to the chiro compounded the discs and possible tearing them.

    My next plan is to visit an spince specialist otheopeidc so he can help me understand and asses on a scale of one to 10 (ten being taking me to the woods) where I fall. Then help me put a plan together as far as what I can and can not do or should do to avoid. If I can help it I would rather not wait till it does need surgery for them to start giving me ideas.

    It was mention that I should do low impact stuff. Take fish oil etc etc. But nothing resemblng a plan, so not sure if its not serious enough or what.

    if you can advise me on the next steps that would be great.
  • Driftwood,


    That link specifically links you to what the more common medical remedies are for the Cervical spine DDD. This is like page 2 or 3 off the link Ron posted. You will find a lot of great info there...

    Medications commonly used

    It might not be a bad idea to make a copy of that page to bring with you to your doctor or PT location. My DDD started only 3 years after my crash, and the constant stiff/sore neck and back gets old, but there are a lot of ways to get relief. Please keep us posted now that you know what is going on, and if anything helps. Support *HUG*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Thanks as always Brenda.

    I am reviewing the aritcles and have many questions to ask the docs.

    I understand that its normal. Mine seems to have been triggered by some sort of injury when I was younger, or by the chiro..
  • Driftwood,

    Glad to help. :) As to what caused it, you may never know. It cold just be the normal progression for your neck. Can it be accelerated by heredity, trauma, life's activities...but you seem to understand it now. I have it throughout my spine, so stretching (for me) seems to help.

    I ice my thoracic sometimes - heat makes it hurt, ice feels good. You might try heat and ice to see which works for ya. Some folks alternate heat and ice too. Heat lets the blood flow more freely, and the ice helps take down swelling. There is more physiological benefits, but those seem to help with pain/discomfort. :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • THey said my lower back was as good as it could be, just made me worried that t2-c1 is all weird.

    Am mainly trying to figure out how to do the right thing and how "bad" it is. ie. ok I know I have it so how bad is it. And apparently the tears dont heal? and it seems to be a cascade issue where it starts out being acute then turns into a two year old child constantly acting up then settles down into about as good as its going to be which could mean no point or just a nagging low level pain.
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