Spinal Degeneration

Knoxville’s Best Choice for Degenerative Disc Disease Treatment in Eastern Tennessee

Our Specialty

Spinal Degeneration

Degenerative spine conditions are uncomfortable and often painful ailments. When the spinal disks in your back begin to break down, other conditions may occur as a result. These conditions can fall under a variety of causes, some of which are natural due to aging.

Spinal degeneration is common and happens to most of us, although not everyone experiences pain.


To understand the causes of spinal degeneration, it’s important to understand some basic anatomy. Our back contains discs that help take pressure off our bodies, resist harsh forces, and maintain flexibility. Nerves and tissues are linked to this area. As we age, our discs begin to dry out since they are about 80 percent water, thus making them less effective. Other contributing factors to spinal degeneration include injuries, obesity, or working in a physically intense environment.


The most common symptoms experienced by spinal degeneration include pain in the back and neck areas. This pain may come and go or radiate to other parts of the body. Usually, the pain may become more intense with twisting, lifting, or sitting. You may also experience, some weakness, numbness, or tingling. You may feel most comfortable when you are sitting down. This is because when we are seated, there is less pressure on our spinal discs.


There are four stages of spinal degeneration. This assists physicians and practitioners with identifying how severe your pain may be and how the discs or tissues have broken down. This can also help determine the best treatment for you.

  • Stage One: Posture may be affected, but pain may not yet be experienced.
  • Stage Two: Occasional aches and pains may be felt along with exhaustion or reduced energy. Poor posture is more likely to be present.
  • Stage Three: Damage to the spine may be present due to nerve compression. Exhaustion is more likely to be felt, and bone spurs are more common.
  • Stage Four: In this stage, it is considered advanced degenerative disc disease. Pain is felt, and neurological conditions may follow and herniated disks.



Spinal degeneration has several options for treatment. The best course of action will depend on what stage of degeneration you are in. Some of the most common treatments for spinal degeneration include:

  • Stretches
  • Physical therapy
  • Exercises
  • Back braces
  • Medication

Exercises for spinal degeneration include hamstring stretches and back stretches to strengthen the body and support the spinal discs. In yoga, the cat/cow pose is common and excellent for spinal degeneration. Knee to chest stretches is also an excellent choice.

Spine surgery or injections may be a good option for those in the more advanced stages of degeneration. Discuss your preferences and options with your physician or practitioner for best results. Work with your practitioners to find the best treatment option for you that will be safe and help effectively manage your pain.

Our Spine Surgeons

Recent Articles