• Temporarily incapacitating muscle spasm.
• Sharp, stabbing radiating pain in your back.
• In cervical disc degeneration, pain is felt in your shoulder, arm, or hand.
• In lumbar disc degeneration, pain is felt in your hips, buttocks, or down the back of your leg.
• Increased or decreased pain in certain positions.
To properly diagnose DDD, Dr. Ali may perform a combination for both physical and neurological exams. During a physical examination, Dr. Ali will examine such things as your range of motion, posture, physical condition, and other factors and will note any movements or activities which cause you pain. An examination of your spine will also be conducted to note its curvature and alignment.
Dr. Ali may also perform a neurological examination, where he may test various factors such as your reflexes, muscle strength, nerve changes, and the path in which your pain travels throughout other parts of your body. This part of the consultation can be a key factor in the diagnosis of degenerative disc disease as it can show how your nerves or even your spinal cord are affected by DDD.
The various imaging tests may vary from an x-ray, to help Dr. Ali see the bones, spinal channels, any fractures or bone spurs in the patient, to a CT scan or MRI, which are more effective at showing soft tissues and any conditions such as herniated and bulging discs. Imaging tests may also be conducted to look for any nerve damage that may be present.