Discogenic back pain refers to back pain that is caused as a result of degeneration or wearing out of lumber intervertebral discs. Also known as lumbar disc pain, this form of back pain usually occurs in the high age group.
The exact cause of discogenic back pain is not really known. It is a result of the gradual aging process. While everyone goes through the aging process, there are only a few who go through back pain. The reason behind the same is not yet known.
Diagnosing discogenic back pain can be a little difficult. Majority of the characteristics of this kind of back pain are similar to other forms of back pain. To diagnose the problem accurately, a MRI may be performed. But, MRIs are only used to check disc degeneration. So, it may show abnormalities in people with no symptoms as well.
It is for this reason that a test called discogram is conducted to diagnose the real cause of the pain. Here in, a needle is inserted into the disc along with injecting a small amount of dye into the disc. This discogram helps detect the root cause of the pain along with the exact condition of the disc. If the amount of pain experienced on inserting the needle is same as the pain the patient experiences otherwise, it is considered as positive discogram.
Since this form of back pain is caused as a result of degeneration; many believe that it worsens over the time. However, this is not true. Instead, in most cases the pain reduces over the time. But in some cases, the pain may not subside on its own and may call for proper treatment. Though, treating discogenic back pain can be quite difficult there are a few basic treatments that can help.
Anti inflammatory medications
This is the most common treatment used for discogenic back pain. Also known as NSAIDs, these medicines reduce not just the pain but also the inflammation, which is the root cause of the pain. These medicines are available both- over the counter as well as by prescription. However, there could be some side effects of these medicines such as gastrointestinal bleeding, ulcers, stomach upset and the like.
In most cases, discogenic back pain can be treated by strengthening the back muscles. This can be done with the help of various alternative therapies and exercises such as yoga. These fitness regimes enhance the overall strength and flexibility of the back and help distribute your overall body weight in a much better manner. As a result, there is less force on the spine, which eases back pain.