Disc Degeneration Specialist

Jonathan Gentile, MD -  - Pain Management Physician

Indiana Spine Group

Jonathan Gentile, MD

Pain Management Physician & Anesthesiologist located in Carmel, Indianapolis, & Kokomo, IN

Like many parts of your body, the discs that separate the vertebrae in your spine are susceptible to degenerative changes as you get older. Disc degeneration affects your spine's structure and function and may be a source of chronic back or neck pain. Jonathan Gentile, MD, of Indiana Spine Group, which has locations in Carmel, Kokomo, and Indianapolis, Indiana, offers an innovative treatment called the Intracept® Procedure for lumbar disc degeneration and other proven therapies. To schedule a consultation, call the office or book online today.

Disc Degeneration Q&A

What is disc degeneration?

Disc degeneration, also known as degenerative disc disease, occurs when the degenerative changes that affect your intervertebral discs cause pain and discomfort. 

Your intervertebral discs are pillow-like cushions that separate each vertebra in your spine. These discs act as shock absorbers and assist with the flexibility and mobility of your spine. They also help support normal height and structure between each vertebra.

As you get older, your intervertebral discs dry out and flatten. These changes decrease their shock-absorbing abilities and the amount of space between each of your vertebrae, which may cause pain.

Disc degeneration also increases the risk of a herniated disc, which is when the gel-like substance inside your intervertebral disc breaks through the dry, tough exterior. 

What are the symptoms of disc degeneration?

Disc degeneration may affect any part of your spine: neck (cervical spine), mid-back (thoracic spine), or lower back (lumbar spine). Common symptoms of disc degeneration include:

  • Back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Neuropathy (nerve pain)
  • Radiculopathy (radiating nerve pain)
  • Difficulty walking
  • Pain when sitting
  • Radiating numbness or tingling sensations

Disc degeneration may cause acute or chronic back or neck pain. Dr. Gentile at Indiana Spine Group is an expert in diagnosing and treating this type of pain. 

How is disc degeneration diagnosed?

When you visit Indiana Spine Group with complaints about back or neck pain, Dr. Gentile conducts a comprehensive evaluation to fully understand the cause of your discomfort.

During your evaluation, he reviews your symptoms, medical history, and performs a physical exam. To confirm or rule out disc degeneration, Dr. Gentile runs diagnostic tests such as X-rays, MRIs, or nerve conduction studies. 

How is disc degeneration treated?

Dr. Gentile develops individualized treatment plans for disc degeneration. He works closely with the surgeons and therapists at Indiana Spine Group to ensure you get the most effective treatment plan, which may include:

  • Over-the-counter pain relievers
  • Steroid injections
  • Physical therapy
  • Home exercise program
  • Activity modification
  • Spinal cord stimulation

Indiana Spine Group also offers the Intracept Procedure. 

What is the Intracept Procedure?

The Intracept Procedure is a minimally invasive treatment for lumbar pain from disc degeneration. During the procedure, Dr. Gentile uses radiofrequency energy to ablate (destroy) the nerve causing your discomfort.

Indiana Spine Group participated in studies for the new nerve ablation procedure. It is also the first practice in the area to offer the Intracept Procedure.

To schedule your disc degeneration consultation with Dr. Gentile and the team at Indiana Spine Group, call the office or book online today.