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Arizona Degenerative Disc Disease Doctor

Degeneration of the discs between the vertebrae of the spine is inevitable– it’s part of the aging process. But when this normal breakdown causes pain and other symptoms, it is known as degenerative disc disease.

What causes degenerative disc disease?


Spinal discs are composed of a fibrous outer layer filled with a jellylike nucleus. When we are born, our discs have about 80% water, and they provide effective cushioning between our vertebrae as we go about our daily activities.

As we age, the discs start to dehydrate and don’t absorb shock as well. Participation in sports, spinal injuries, and even normal daily activities over time can also cause small tears to form in the outer layer of the disc. Sometimes the material making up the nucleus of the disc seeps out.

Symptoms of degenerative disc disease


Although everyone experiences some amount of disc degeneration as they age, not everyone will have symptoms. A person is said to have degenerative disc disease if they experience some of the following symptoms due to breakdown of spinal discs:

  • Pain that worsens when sitting, bending, lifting or twisting
  • Pain that improves when walking or running
  • Pain that improves when lying down or changing positions often
  • Periods of pain that come and go. Can range from nagging to disabling.
  • Numbness and tingling in the extremities
  • Weakness in the leg or foot drop (difficulty lifting the front part of the foot)


Degenerative Disc Disease Treatment Options in Arizona


Are you looking for help for degenerative disc disease in Phoenix? We explore below the options for degenerative disc disease pain relief:



Pain and anti-inflammatory medications, chiropractic, steroid injections, back braces, electrical stimulation and heat or ice therapy can all help ease symptoms. In many cases, in our clinic in Arizona, degenerative disc disease treatment options that are non-surgical in nature have led to great success.

Physical therapy focuses on strengthening certain muscles that will stabilize the spine and allow the disc to heal. 

Certain lifestyle modifications, such as losing weight, quitting smoking and adjusting your posture can also reduce stress on the damaged disc and slow further degradation. Collectively these lifestyle changes coupled with our treatment for degenerative disc disease pain relief in Phoenix or at any of our other centers in Arizona can help you get rid of chronic back pain and discomfort.

If more conservative efforts don’t bring relief, Dr. Baig, one of the best doctors for degenerative disc disease in Arizona, may recommend one of two surgical options. During disc replacement surgery, he will remove the damaged disc and replace it with an artificial disc. Alternatively, Dr. Baig may perform a discectomy (disc removal) with spinal fusion to provide strength and stability to the spine.

Dr. Baig is skilled and experienced in several forms of disc replacement and spinal fusion surgery, including the less invasive lateral access spinal fusion surgery. Dr. Baig will only recommend surgery if he is confident it will bring relief.

Desert Spine Arizona Degenerative Disc Disease Treatment Options


At the Desert Spine and Scoliosis Center, we’re committed to providing exceptional patient care that is rooted in a conservative approach to the management and treatment of all conditions of the spine.

Dr. Rafath Baig, M. D. – one of the best doctors for degenerative disc disease in Phoenix – believes in patient education so they can make the best healthcare decisions that are best suited to their needs. Moreover, whether it is degenerative disc disease or any other condition, he has subspecialty training and rigorous experience coupled with expertise to help eliminate your chronic back pain.

We understand that chronic back pain can be debilitating and put your life on hold. Above all we don’t believe that surgery is always the best solution and nor do we believe in a one-size-fits-all approach to healthcare delivery. Therefore, to bring complete relief to our patients, we recommend only the best treatment solutions that are based on their unique situation.

If you’re suffering from degenerative disc disease, it’s time to find out what your options are. Contact us to schedule an appointment or to request your free MRI review with Dr. Baig.