1.) Degenerative Disc Disease
Degenerative disc disease is not actually a disease. It is a term that is used, however, to describe changes that happen to your spinal discs as you get older. A normal progression for the discs is to age and as they get older there will be physical change. – Spinal discs are typically soft in nature and have an ability to compress (acting as shock absorbers). These discs allow your spine to move more freely in both flexing and twisting movements. Degenerative disc disease (DDD) can develop at any place in the spine, but it most often occurs in the lower back and cervical (neck) region.
Pain in the back at the site of the DDD can develop, along with osteoarthritis, a herniated disc and/or spinal stenosis. These all can be related to the changes we are talking about with your discs.
A.) Osteoarthritis: This is the break down of cartilage that protects and actually helps to cushion the joints.
B.) Herniated disc: This occurs when there is an irregular bulge or when the spinal disc breaks open.
C.) Spinal stenosis: This refers to the narrowing of an individuals spinal canal. The spinal canal is what houses the spinal cord.
As a result of these conditions, more pressure may be exerted on the spinal cord and this may lead to pain and compromised nerve function.
2.) Causes of DDD (Degenerative Disc Disease)
As a person ages, our spinal discs begin to age as well. They break down (degenerate) which causes a loss of fluid in the disc (loss of elasticity) and as a result they will lose some of their ability to act as shock absorbers. Loss of fluid in the disc also makes the affected disc thinner and this will narrow the distance that once was found between each vertebra (spinal bone).
3.) What Can A Brace Do To Help Me?
A quality made back support (either for your lumbar or cervical spine) will help to stop movements that will cause pain for your back. Many times when people put them on they notice a few key things:
A.) Pain Decreases
B.) Increased Spinal Stability
C.) Improved Posture
These back (or neck) braces do not heal degenerative disc disease. A cure for this problem is not widely available currently. However, a quality back support can help to relieve the painful symptoms of the problem and this can help to give you your life back! – The use of high grade orthopedic supports are a conservative treatment option that is recognized by physicians and other medical professionals throughout the world to help treat pain problems conservatively.
4.) Does Insurance Cover Back or Neck Braces?
It is very possible for your insurance to cover an orthosis (orthopedic brace support). If you are interested in any type of back (or neck) support contact your local licensed orthotist for more information. They will (almost always) help to facilitate a claim on your behalf, doing most of the leg work for you in the process. If the brace is not covered at 100 percent then many times a very large portion of the brace can be covered.
Note: This is health information. For medical advice regarding braces speak with your local, licensed orthotist.