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Juvenile Disc Disorder Prognosis

Juvenile disc disorder occurs when the parts of the vertebrae called end plates are too weak to withstand the pressures inside the disc spaces. The end plates are the very top and bottom portions of the vertebrae that attach to the cartilaginous disc between each vertebra.



Most of the time, chronic back pain or long term back problems are associated with elderly or middle-aged people.  But Juvenile Disc Disorder can also affect people as young as 20 years of age. It means that if you are an adolescent, even then you cannot save yourself from this deformity. The fact is; some patients may inherit a prematurely ageing spine.

What do we understand about Juvenile Disc Disorder ?

Juvenile Disc Disorder is a condition where end-plates of disc spaces are not that strong to bear the pressures generated within the disc spaces. Such a condition leads to disc herniations into the vertebral bodies and triggers back pain at quite an early age.

The condition is very much similar to that of degenerative disc disease but with a difference that in this condition, degeneration starts at a much earlier age and generally, most of the discs of lumbar spine are involved as opposed to that of degenerative disc disorder, where only one or two discs are typically involved.

What are the causes of Juvenile Disc Disorder ?

Following factors can lead to Juvenile Disc Disorder:

  • Injury to back.

  • Weakening of discs due to wear and tear.

  • Strain and stress you put on your backs.

  • Changes in your discs and other spine structures.

  • Decreasing of water in the discs.

  • Discs become less spongy and much thinner.

  • Space between the vertebrae above and below the disc gets smaller.

  • Hypermobility of facet joints.

  • Your genes; you may be predisposed to excessive wear and tear of joints.

What are the potential signs and symptoms of Juvenile Disc Disorder?

Any part of your spine can get affected due to Juvenile Disc Disorder but the low back or neck are the most commonly affected parts. Other signs and symptoms of the disease include:

  • Chronic back and neck pain.

  • Pain at the site of the damaged disc.

  • Pain radiating to another body part.

  • More pain while sitting for a long time.

  • Feeling of pain while bending, lifting or twisting.

  • Feeling less pain while walking, running or if you change positions frequently.

  • Pain subsides with rest.

What are the treatment options suggested by the Physical Therapists to treat Juvenile Disc Disorder?

Physical Therapy treatment to treat Juvenile Disc Disorder is much similar to that of Degenerative Disc Disorder. Most of the patients respond well to the physical therapy techniques and recovery is possible in about five-six weeks. Physicals therapists may suggest the following techniques to treat Juvenile Disc Disorder:

  • Physical Therapists may suggest rest or restricted activity but for a few days only. Extended rest is not recommended and mild activity is suggested for better healing.

  • A daily hamstring stretching and aerobic conditioning may be suggested for the better healing

  • Deep tissue massage is recommended to release the tension in soft tissues like; ligaments, tendons or muscles

  • Heat therapy is suggested to remove the waste by-products caused due to spasms.

  • Cold therapy is used to lessen the pain and inflammation.

  • Spinal traction is administered to eliminate the pain caused due to the muscle tightness or compressed nerves.

  • Various exercises to improve the flexibility, strength, core stability and range of motion are practised.

  • An individualised treatment program, taking into account your health and history is formulated

  • Your physical therapists will make you learn about various body mechanics to limit pain. Positions causing pain will also be made familiar to you.

  • Proper work ergonomics and posture corrections are taught to help you to take better care of your back.

  • Strengthening exercises to strengthen abdominal and back muscles are also recommended.

Juvenile Disc Disorder can wreak havoc on the back of an adolescent, so the parents should watch out for the early signs of the disease and if you find any warning signs, should go for immediate diagnosis and treatment. Contact Active Physical Therapy for the state-of-art treatment of any of your musculoskeletal disease. Our treatment modules are planned and coordinated according to the needs, requirements and urgencies of our patients. The treatment modules co-ordinated by us will not only cure your current ailment but also pose a check on the further ones.

Active Physical Therapy Treatments for Degenerative Disc Disease

Physical Therapy for Degenerative Disc Disease

Physical therapy includes both passive and active treatments. Passive treatments help to relax you and your body. They’re called passive because you don’t have to actively participate. If you’re experiencing acute pain, you’ll most likely start with passive treatments as your body heals and/or adjusts to the pain. But the goal of physical therapy is to get into active treatments. These are therapeutic exercises that strengthen your body so that your spine has better support.

Passive Physical Therapy Treatments for Degenerative Disc Disease

Your physical therapist may give you one of the passive treatments below.

Deep tissue massage: This technique targets spasms and chronic muscle tension that perhaps builds up through daily life stress. You could also have spasms or muscle tension because of strains or sprains. The therapist uses direct pressure and friction to try to release the tension in your soft tissues (ligaments, tendons, muscles).

Hot and cold therapies: Your physical therapist will alternate between hot and cold therapies. By using heat, the physical therapist seeks to get more blood to the target area because an increased blood flow brings more oxygen and nutrients to that area. Blood is also needed to remove waste byproducts created by muscle spasms, and it also helps healing.

Cold therapy, also called cryotherapy, slows circulation, helping to reduce inflammation, muscle spasms, and pain. You may have a cold pack placed upon the target area, or even be given an ice massage. Another cryotherapy option is a spray called fluoromethane that cools the tissues. After cold therapy, your therapist may work with you to stretch the affected muscles.

Spinal traction: By stretching the back, spinal traction works to alleviate pain caused by muscle tightness or compressed nerves. The therapist can do that manually (by using his or her own body) or mechanically (with special machines). Especially if your nerve is being pinched by the foramen—the area where the nerve exits the spinal canal—your therapist may try traction. It’s thought to widen the foramen by stretching the spine to readjust the vertebrae.

Active Physical Therapy Treatments for Degenerative Disc Disease

In the active part of physical therapy, your therapist will teach you various exercises to improve your flexibility, strength, core stability, and range of motion (how easily your joints move). Your physical therapy program is individualized, taking into consideration your health and history. Your exercises may not be suitable for another person with DDD.

Degenerative disc disease won’t ever entirely “go away”—once your discs start to degenerate, you can’t reverse that process—and because of that, your physical therapist will help you learn how to work around it and how to limit the pain. You’ll learn about body mechanics and how to avoid positions that cause pain.

If needed, you will learn how to correct your posture and incorporate ergonomic principles into your daily activities.

If needed, you will learn how to correct your posture and incorporate ergonomic principles into your daily activities. This is all part of the “self-care” or “self-treatment” aspect of physical therapy: Through physical therapy, you learn good habits and principles that enable you to take better care of your body.

Your physical therapist may also suggest a personalized exercise program for you. The goals may include: strengthening abdominal and back muscles, increasing muscle endurance (so that your stronger muscles can work harder longer), and getting your body to carry your weight more efficiently. An exercise program comes with another bonus—it may help you lose weight. Extra weight can exacerbate pain from DDD, so if you need to lose weight, your physical therapist can work with you to set goals and then follow through.