Treatments for Degenerative Disc Disease
By Debra Rodzinak
For those who suffer from degenerative disc disease, pain is typically a way of life. However, there are several ways to treat dealing with this pain. A combination of four areas are used to help patients find relief from degenerative disc disease: Pain control, exercise and rehabilitation, lifestyle modifications, and chiropractic.
The focus of pain control treatment is to reduce the amount of pain a patient feels, enough so that they can begin an exercise and rehabilitation program. The causes of a degenerated or collapsed spinal disc is usually caused by inflamed areas and spinal instability due to weak back muscles.
Surgery is not usually needed for this type of spinal issue, and therapy may include a combination of many different approaches. Not every type of therapy works for every patient and may must try many different types to find what works best for them.
Patients should take at least six months before considering surgery. Surgery should not be seen as one of the treatment options, but rather the absolute last resort after all other options have been eliminated.
Exercise and Rehabilitation
Exercise helps the back to heal and prevents future recurrences of pain. Under the guidance and advice of a physical therapist or other trained healthcare provider, exercises are extremely beneficial in reducing the pain associated with degenerative disc disease.
Another added benefit of exercise is the release of endorphins. Endorphins are the body’s natural pain reliever.
Changing life factors that are actually hurting the spine or contributing to the increased deteroriation of the discs of the spine can lead to a healthier spine. Many people who are modifying the stressors on the spine go through an education and resource period where they learn about factors such as:
- Correct posture
- Avoiding nicotine
- Avoiding excess alcohol
- Avoiding prolonged sitting
- Drinking plenty of water
In addition to pain control, exercise and rehabilitation, and lifestyle modification, one key factor to helping degenerative disc disease is chiropractic. When the discs of the spine deteriorate, they can become uneven and cause other discs to slip out of place or become tilted. This can place undue pressure on the sensitive nerves of the back causing pain, tingling, or numbness in a number of areas around the body.
Chiropractic adjustments can help to relieve the pain associated with degenerative disc disease with gentle spinal adjustments on the joints of the spine. By beginning with proper alignment, the other treatments are better realized.
If you have pain associated with degenerative disc disease, come by The Joint for a gentle spinal adjustment from one of our expert doctors. With no pesky insurance forms to fill out or appointment times to remember, finding treatment through chiropractic is easy and stress-free.