Pain stemming from age-related changes to joints and tissues is known as degenerative disc disease (DDD). Despite its name, DDD is not technically a disease. Instead, it is a set of symptoms connected with some type of disc damage. Commonly associated with back pain, DDD can also contribute to foot pain because of the way damage to discs affects nearby nerves. The expert spine surgeons at The Spine Institute in Beverly Hills discuss some of the connections between DDD and foot pain.
Radiating Nerve Pain
Often affecting the lower back, degenerative disc disease may eventually lead to a reduction in disc height due to the wear and tear of tissues and joints. A loss in disc height may result in compression on nerve roots, including some that connect to the legs and feet, such as the sciatic nerve.
Foraminal Spinal Stenosis
DDD that results in pain radiating to the feet may be related to foraminal spinal stenosis. Foraminal stenosis is a condition that causes the part of the spine where nerves travel through to become narrow, often due to another condition such as a herniated disc or spondylolisthesis.
Behavior of DDD-Related Foot Pain
Degenerative disc disease related to foot pain often results from nerve compression triggered by a change in position. For instance, pain may be experienced after sitting for a long period, while lifting something, or when bending or twisting. Lying down tends to relieve pain because pressure is then taken off of nerves. Symptoms of foot pain related to DDD may include:
- Numbness and tingling in the feet
- Back and foot pain that becomes progressively worse
- Foot pain that comes and goes (intermittent pain)
Foot pain related to DDD in the lower (lumbar) spine can be difficult to diagnose. It’s often a process of elimination before the true source of discomfort is identified. Patients frequently respond well to non-surgical spine treatments unless the nerve compression is severe and other treatments are ineffective.
If you have degenerative disc disease and are seeking pain relief, reach out to The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration. Dr. Bae and his team of expert surgeons specialize in the fusion procedures and spinal fusion alternatives Beverly Hills patients claim has helped alleviate their pain. Call our office today at 310-828-7757 to schedule an appointment and take the first steps toward a pain-free life.