Spine conditions

Degenerative Disc Disease is not a ‘disease’

By on October 24th, 2016

Don’t be alarmed by a diagnosis of ‘degenerative disc disease’. This is not a progressive, threatening disease. In fact, it is not really a disease and not always due to degeneration. While it is true that disc degeneration can produce pain at times and is likely to progress over time, the pain from this condition usually does not get worse and in fact usually gets better over time. This is because as the disc degenerates, it actually gets more stiff and therefore more stable. Disc degeneration is actually a natural part of aging, and over time all people will exhibit changes in their discs consistent with a greater or lesser degree of degeneration. Since pain is not proportional to the amount of disc degeneration and is more related to the stability of the disc, it is important to strengthen your core spinal muscles.

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Kamshad Raiszadeh, M.D.

Dr. Raiszadeh's completed medical school at UC San Francisco, orthopedic surgery residency at UC Davis and his Pediatric and Adult Spine Fellowship at the Hospital for Joint Diseases/NYU in New York City. He has 20 years of experience with the broad range of spine surgery including minimally invasive surgery, complex spinal disorders such as scoliosis and kyphosis, and cervical spine disorders. During this 20 years he has noticed a dramatic increase in patients turning to surgery for treatment of neck and low back pain, but many of them not getting their desired long-term result. He therefore became increasingly interested in improvement and standardization of non-operative treatment. By developing the best aspects of non-operative treatment in an atmosphere of empowerment to maximize the body’s own healing capacity, he noticed that many fewer patients required surgery, and the ones who underwent surgery had much better long term results.

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