About Degenerative Disc Disease

What is it and what are your treatment options?
Anchorage: (907)562-2277
Wasilla: (907) 357-2267
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What is Degenerative Disc Disease?

The spine is made up of vertebrae (bones) and cushions (discs) that are stacked one on top of the other. Degenerative disc disease occurs when the cushioning discs undergo changes as a result of an injury, disorder, or the natural process of aging. This condition can affect the spine at any location; however, the neck and lower back are the most commonly involved areas.

Common Causes:

  • Disc deterioration
  • Obesity
  • Smoke
  • Genetic predisposition

Symptoms you should look for:

  • Pain in neck, mid-back, lower back
  • Extremity pain
  • Weakness
  • Tingling

When diagnosing degenerative disc disease, The OPA Spine Team:

  • Obtains a complete medical history
  • Performs a physical examination
  • Orders and analyzes X-ray, MRI, CT scan

Common Treatments:

At Orthopedic Physicians Alaska (OPA), we offer a comprehensive selection of degenerative disc disease treatments, including nonsurgical and minimally invasive techniques. In most cases, surgery will not be necessary. Our skilled team of Spine Specialists will utilize conservative methods which include:

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs)

Decrease inflammation and pain

Physical Therapy

An OPA approved physical therapist prescribes and monitors strengthening and stretching exercises.

Injections

An injection of steroid and anesthetic medications.
At OPA, our Board-Certified and Fellowship-Trained Spine Specialists, Dr. Mark Flanum, Dr. James Eule, and Dr. Curtis Mina are experts in treating degenerative disc disease.

To receive an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment plan, please make an appointment to see one of our Spine Team Specialists at our offices conveniently located in Anchorage and Wasilla.

Schedule An Appointment

To receive an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment plan, please make an appointment with one of our Orthopedic Team Specialists at our offices conveniently located in Anchorage and Wasilla, AK.

Anchorage: (907)562-2277
Wasilla: (907) 357-2267

OPA Spine Team

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Dr. James Eule

Orthopedic Spine Specialist

Dr. Mark Flanum

Orthopedic Spine Specialist

Dr. Curtis Mina

Orthopedic Spine Specialist

Sean Taylor, MD

Pain Management

Our Mission

To provide the finest orthopedic surgery and musculoskeletal care in North America, offering general and specialized adult care to all Alaskans and visitors.

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