Degenerative Disc Disease Treatment
Go right to the next heading for degenerative disc disease treatment if you do not want any background information.
We have discs between the bones in our spine that act like shock absorbers. Just like the shock absorbers on our car, these discs wear down with time and gravity.
In fact, once we are over 40, almost none of us have thick, juicy discs. This is because discs have no direct blood supply and normally no nerve supply.
When a disc gets hurt or just starts to wear down over time it makes us susceptible to osteoarthritis, herniated disc’s, and spinal stenosis. Once the disc is hurt, nerves move in and allow you to feel MORE pain.
Home Degenerative Disc Disease Treatment
Ice/Heat/Biofreeze – This only penetrate the skin up to 1/2 inch, but they can help distract you from pain or relax muscles contributing to the problem.
Posture – You need to know how to properly lift, bend, stand, sit, and sleep. Generally speaking, you want to not slump in your chair, push our your chest, and keep your head up. Be sure you lift with your knees and keep the weight close to the center of your body.
Changing your posture can be a a dramatic degenerative disc disease treatment. When you slump over your discs put a lot of pressure on the back side of your spine which can cause pain. If you had the correct posture, your discs would distribute the force equally to all sides.
Don’t expect a miracle here, you’ve probably had bad posture for decades. It’s not too late to start improving it though!
Exercise – A program of strengthening, stretching, and aerobic exercise can do wonders for many types of back pain. Generally speaking, we have weak core muscles.
Bridges, push ups, planks, and other exercises that work our core can help stabilize our spines.
Over the Counter Medications – Inflammation causes pain, most over the counter medication’s reduce inflammation(NSAID’s).
Diet – We think we can eat anything until we end up with heart disease, diabetes, chronic pain, and many other disease. Did you know that every bite you eat makes you more or less inflamed.
To become less inflammatory, you should eat foods like chicken, fish, vegetables, fruits, and tree nuts. Less inflammation = Less Pain.
Weight Loss – You wouldn’t put shock absorbers designed for a Toyota Corolla onto an F350 because they would bottom out, perform poorly, and fail quickly.
Much to the same tune, loosing a few pounds can go a long way as a Degenerative Disc Disease Treatment.
Quitting Smoking – Reduces inflammation which reduces pain.
Inversion Tables – I don’t recommend this to my patients personally because of the risk of an unknown aneurysm rupturing, but some of my patients report that it helps. Takes the pressure off the discs allowing nutrition to enter and healing(hopefully) to take place.
Medical Degenerative Disc Disease Treatment
Prescription Pain Relievers – USING and pain reliever for a weight bearing joint such as the spine WILL speed up degeneration of your joints. You’re body wants you to take it easy and heal.
Muscle Relaxers – These work well in the patients I have seen take them.
Injections – Epidural to block the pain signal from getting to your brain.
Spinal Fusion or Disc Replacement Surgery – A last resort when the patient can’t manage the pain on their own. I strongly suggest you look up Failed Back Surgery Syndrome on google before you consider surgery as a degenerative disc disease treatment.
It is unlikely that you have only degenerative disc disease if you are actually considering surgery, be sure you have been properly diagnosed and get 2 or 3 different opinions. You’re spine will never be the same.
Alternative Degenerative Disc Disease Treatment
Chiropractic Care – Chiropractors have many different treatments that can benefit degenerative disc disease. One particular treatment called flexion distraction takes the pressure off of the discs while the doctor moves the spine in different directions.
All chiropractic techniques will improve range of motion, improve blood flow, and decrease pain in your discs and joints. I would say that nearly 80% of my patients have degenerative disc disease.
Spinal Decompression – Many chiropractors and physical therapists have a unit called the DRX-9000 or a similar machine that will pull your low back or your neck with a certain amount of weight.
This works well, but the effects are generally only temporary.
Acupuncture/Acupressure – I have had patients say they get great relief from these as well.
Ultrasound – Heats deep joints, including the spine.
Supplements – Calcium, magnesium, vitamin D, fish oil, multivitamin, MSM, etc. There are too many too choose from. Ask a doctor you trust about which ones are right for you.
First thing you should do is visit a doctor or a chiropractor so that they can diagnose you with degenerative disc disease. They will rule out more sinister problems and can also educate you on degenerative disc disease treatments.
Often times if you apply a few of the home degenerative disc disease treatments above you can keep your pain at bay. If you end up with acute or severe pain you can use the treatments your doctor provides to get you through.
Degenerative disc disease treatment is very similar to bulging disc treatment.