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Degenerative Disc Disease Specialist

Jessen Mukalel, MD

Spine, Sports, and Interventional Pain Specialists & Ketamine Infusion Specialist located in The Woodlands, TX

Like other joints in your body, your spine undergoes changes as you get older. That may lead to degenerative disc disease, which alters the normal architecture of your spine. Though symptoms vary, degenerative disc disease can cause debilitating chronic pain. At his private practice in The Woodlands, Texas, interventional pain specialist Jessen Mukalel, MD, performs the Intracept® Procedure to permanently relieve degenerative disc pain. To schedule a consultation, contact the office by phone or online today.

Degenerative Disc Disease Q & A

What is degenerative disc disease?

Degenerative disc disease is a complicated process that affects the normal architecture of your spine. Each vertebral bone that makes up your spine is separated by a disc that provides cushion between each bone, allows movement of the spine, and acts as a shock absorber.

Unlike other body parts, the blood supply to your vertebral discs is minimal. When damaged or injured, the discs can’t repair themselves. Without an adequate supply of blood, the discs also lose moisture, shrink, and degenerate over time, making them more vulnerable to injury and damage. 

What are degenerative disc disease symptoms?

Degenerative disc disease often affects active individuals in their 30s and 40s. Common symptoms include:

  • Pain that worsens when sitting
  • Pain when bending
  • Decrease in pain sensations when engaged in an activity
  • Periods of severe pain flare-ups
  • Numbness or tingling in the extremities
  • Muscle weakness

Not everyone with degenerative disc disease experiences symptoms. 

How is degenerative disc disease diagnosed?

Dr. Mukalel conducts a comprehensive evaluation when you come to the office seeking help for back pain. To diagnose degenerative disc disease, he reviews your symptoms and performs a physical exam. He also conducts an MRI to evaluate for Modic changes. 

Modic changes indicate degenerative changes in the vertebral bodies and end plates surrounding the lumbar spine discs. Dr. Mukalel offers treatment that permanently fixes lower back pain associated with Modic changes. 

How is degenerative disc disease treated?

For degenerative disc disease, Dr. Mukalel performs the Intracept® Procedure from Relievant Medsystems. This innovative procedure PERMANENTLY relieves lower back pain caused by MRI signals called Modic changes, in the vertebral bodies surrounding the vertebral discs, by destroying the basivertebral nerve. The Basivertebral nerve is the signaling pathway to your brain, telling you that the disc and bine edges have chronic pain. This therapy stops the signaling pathway, safely taking away pain. 

This does not mean that you will not feel future disc or vertebral injuries. Those are acute injuries that your body will always recognize through other signaling pathways, while overactive Basivertebral nerves in chronic disc and vertebral pain states are eliminated.  

Dr. Mukalel has performed the most minimally invasive Intracept ablation procedures in Houston, Texas. However, many insurance companies aren’t aware of the treatment and it sometimes takes several months to obtain authorization. Dr. Mukalel is dedicated to helping you get relief from your pain and does all he can to get your health insurance company to approve the procedure.

To learn more about your treatment options for degenerative disc disease, contact the office of Jessen Mukalel, MD, by phone or online today.