Degenerative Disc Disease is a debilitating disease that can affect people from all walks of life. The most common symptom of Degenerative Disc Disease is pain in the back or neck, which can be severe enough to require surgery for relief. If you are suffering from this condition, then you may want to read on to learn about some different treatments available for this painful condition.
Treatments Available for Degenerative Disc Disease
The first type of treatment for Degenerative Disc Disease is non-surgical. The goal here is to reduce the pain caused by this condition and provide temporary relief.
Medications for Degenerative Disc Disease
Most Degenerative Disc Disease patients can benefit from taking medication. There are many different types of medications that you and your doctor will need to discuss, but most fall into two categories: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and narcotics.
NSAIDs are a class of drugs that includes ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen. These medications reduce the chemicals in your body responsible for pain and inflammation. Side effects can include nausea, vomiting, or stomach bleeding, so be sure to discuss taking these medications with your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.
Narcotic medications can reduce pain and make it more manageable, but they also come with a list of side effects that includes drowsiness, nausea or vomiting, constipation, and itchiness. Because these drugs affect your central nervous system, they should only be taken on an as-needed basis and should not be taken for more than a couple of weeks at a time.
Many Degenerative Disc Disease patients who go through physical therapy report that it helps them manage their pain more effectively. Physical therapists use a variety of different treatments to help with the symptoms associated with this condition, including ice and heat packs, stretching and range of motion, ultrasound treatment, massage therapy, or acupuncture.
Degenerative Disc Disease patients who do not see results from other treatments may want to consider steroid injections as a possible treatment option. This is typically considered after trying medication and physical therapy and it can provide long-term pain relief.
Orthobiologic treatments are a relatively new option for patients experiencing low back from Degenerative Disc Disease. Utilizing your own body’s cells to decrease inflammation and help repair damaged tissue, orthobiologic treatments can provide significant reduction in every day pain caused by disc disease.
Degenerative Disc Disease patients who are still experiencing pain after trying other treatments may want to consider surgery as an option. This is typically the last line of defense, but there are some different surgical options available depending on your specific case and needs.
If you are experiencing severe pain in the lower back, then your doctor may recommend surgery to fuse two vertebrae together. This can help reduce pain because it eliminates part of the spine that is affected by Degenerative Disc Disease.
If you are experiencing severe back and leg pain, then your doctor may recommend surgery to remove the portion of the disc that is causing you pain. This procedure does not remove the entire disc, just the portion of the disc pressing on the nerve/s.
Degeneration and arthritis occurring at different levels of your spine can sometimes cause spinal stenosis, which is compression on the spinal cord or nerve roots. This type of surgery is performed to relieve that pressure, reducing pain and other symptoms associated with Degenerative Disc Disease.
Final Thoughts on Degenerative Disc Disease Treatments
If you are experiencing pain, then your doctor will likely recommend trying some of the treatments listed above. Your doctor may recommend one treatment or suggest a combination of treatments.
No matter which treatment you and your doctor decide to take, know that there is help available if you are living with Degenerative Disc Disease. Degenerative Disc Disease can be difficult to manage, but it does not have to control your life.
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