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Dealing with Degenerative Disc Disease

By Debra Rodzinak

For those who suffer from degenerative disc disease, the pain can fluctuate from a mild, dull ache to a debilitating constant pain that keeps the patient immobile for days, weeks, even months.

Degenerative disc disease is a wearing away of the spongy material that separates the bony parts of the spine.  The discs that are located in the neck or lower back suffer the most from degenerative disc disease due to the constant wear and tear in those particular areas.  

Causes of Degenerative Disc Disease

The causes are relatively the same; however, since the pain levels and the amount of damage to the disc are not mutually exclusive, different treatments are more successful for different patients.  For example:

  • Activities that make the patient’s pain worse can involve bending, twisting, or lifting
  • Particular positions can cause the pain to worsen
  • Walking and running can actually feel better to some than sitting or standing for long periods of time
  • Changing positions frequently seems to bring some patients diminished pain
  • Lumbar degenerative disc pain can cause a patient to experience pain when sitting, so standing or lying in a reclining position often brings relief
  • Positions in a reclining position often help due to the relief of stress on the lumbar disc space

Pain with Degenerative Disc Disease

There are specific symptoms that accompany degenerative disc disease. 

  • Chronic low back or neck pain is a common symptom with all back pain suffers.  However, with degenerative disc disease, there are periods of time when the pain becomes more severe.  There are many different theories as to why these pains occur.  The most common train of thought is that specifically with degenerative disc disease, the spine reacts to the deteriorated spinal disc with very tiny movements called “micromotion.”  Micromotion is often undetectable to the one affected, but causes the body to react with muscle spasms in an attempt to stabilize the spine.  These spasms are what patients refer to when they say their back has “gone out.”
  • Pain should not be a continually severe type of pain.  If this is the case, other diagnoses must be discussed and new treatment options should be considered.

Treatment Options for Degenerative Disc Disease

Non surgical options such as yoga, chiropractic, and massage can help treat degenerative disc disease.  As a last effort, after all other options have been tried, surgery may be needed.  It is always wise to consult a trusted healthcare professional in these cases.

If you are suffering with degenerative disc disease and are not ready for drugs or surgery, come to The Joint Chiropractic for a gentle spinal adjustment.  With extended weekday and weekend hours, finding pain relief for your degenerative disc disease becomes easy.  With no pesky insurance forms to fill out or appointment times to remember, seek out The Joint today and begin your all-natural journey to improved back health.

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