Spinal degenerative disease is a general term that encompasses many types of disorders of the spinal column that result from any wear and tear to the bone and soft tissues of the spine. 

Types of Spinal Degenerative Diseases

Herniated Discs

A herniated disc is a protrusion of a disc that occurs between each vertebral bone of the spine. When the disc fails, it bulges outwards causing pressure on surrounding tissues. This results in inflammation and irritation of those tissues. 

A herniation can happen suddenly due to trauma, but more commonly it occurs over the years as we age. 

The most common areas of the back that are susceptible to herniation are the lumbar herniated discs, which are located in your lower back, and/or the cervical herniated discs, which are located in the neck. 

Thoracic herniated discs (in the mid-back) can also occur, but they’re less common.

What Are The Symptoms Of A Herniated Disc?

Usually, the main symptom is sharp, acute pain. In some cases, there may be a previous history of localized low back pain, where it starts at the lower back and radiates down the legs. This pain is usually described as a deep, sharp pain, which gets worse as it moves down the affected leg. 

The onset of pain with a herniated disc may occur suddenly or it may be preceded by a sharp pain sensation in the spine, which may be attributed to a sudden rupture in the annulus fibrosis. 

The annulus is a sturdy tire-like structure that encases a gel-like center, the nucleus pulposus. The annulus enhances the spine’s rotational stability and helps to resist compressive stress.

If you live near Charlotte, NC., and are suffering from prolonged back pain, you may be experiencing symptoms of a herniated disc. The best thing to do is schedule a consultation with Southern Pain & Spine Specialists to get a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis is a condition that causes narrowing of the spinal canal leading to compression of the spinal nerves and spinal cord. 

It can occur in any region of the spine, but most often occurs in the lower or lumbar, and upper or cervical regions, causing chronic back and neck pain.

Depending on the location and how much narrowing occurs over time, a spinal nerve or the spinal cord could become compressed and cause pain, tingling, numbness, and muscle weakness.

Spinal stenosis can be caused by a variety of conditions or risk factors. For example:

  • Natural Aging
  • Acute Injury or Trauma
  • Repetitive Motion
  • Degenerative Disc Disease
  • Arthritis or Osteoarthritis
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Poor Posture
  • Obesity or Poor Health
  • Smoking
  • Tumor, Cancer or Infection
  • Participation in Impact Sports
  • Previous Injury or Spine Surgery

If you’re experiencing symptoms of Spinal Stenosis, schedule a FREE consultation with Southern Pain & Spine Specialists to get a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

Degenerative Disc Disease

Degenerative disc disease is one of the most common causes of low back and neck pain. 

Many of the problems in the spine are caused because of the process of degeneration of the intervertebral disc. Everything you do during the day – once you stand upright – begins to test the spine’s ability to support your body weight.

Over time, these repeated daily stresses and minor injuries can add up and begin to affect the discs in your spine. Minor injuries to the disc may occur and not cause pain at the time of the injury. However, as they add up, the disc eventually begins to suffer and begins to degenerate.

Approximately 40% of adults over age 40 have at least one degenerated vertebral disc. By age 80, 80% of them do.

If you’re experiencing symptoms of Degenerative Disc Disease, the best thing to do is schedule a consultation with Southern Pain & Spine Specialists to get a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.


The largest nerve in the body is the sciatic nerve that runs from the lower back, through the buttocks, and down the legs. 

Sciatica occurs when this nerve is compressed or irritated, resulting in pain, weakness or numbness on one side of the lower body.

If you’re experiencing symptoms of Sciatica, schedule a consultation with Southern Pain & Spine Specialists as soon as possible to get a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

Symptoms of a Spine Disorder

Signs of a spine disorder or disease vary depending on the location and type of the spine condition. It is not uncommon for a severe spine issue to cause problems in other parts of the body as well.

Some symptoms to look for include:

  • pain in your back or neck that feels like a dull ache, burn, sharp stabbing, stiffness or tightness.
  • nausea or vomiting
  • unusual sensations in the arms or legs, such as radiating pain, weakness, numbness, or tingling
  • excessively rounded shoulders or a crooked spine
  • uneven shoulders or hip bones
  • issues with the bladder or bowel.
  • Lower back pain that is generally made worse with sitting.
  • Back pain intensified by bending, lifting and twisting
  • Desire to change positions frequently to alleviate pain


Treatment for degenerative spine disease varies considerably depending on the specifics of each case. Some patient’s benefit from conservative therapy with rest and physical therapy and some cases call for spine surgery. The specialists of the Southern Pain & Spine Specialists will prescribe a path of treatment that is unique to each patient and their particular condition.

Southern Pain & Spine Specialists Can Help!

No matter the cause of your back or neck pain, Southern Pain & Spine Specialists are ready to help.

What sets us apart is we embrace a multidisciplinary approach to care which gives our patients access to new and innovative treatments and technologies.

We introduce you to your care team early on, and are with you through the diagnostic work-up and beyond.

No matter the cause or course of treatment, the goal in treating your pain caused by any of the spinal degenerative diseases we mentioned above is always the same: restoring your quality of life! 

Southern Pain & Spine Specialists has 2 convenient locations- Matthews & Charlotte, NC.

So, if you’re ready to get out of pain, just click here to contact us online for more information and to set up your FREE consultation!

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