A number of degenerative disc disease treatments are available, depending on the severity of your pain. Common treatments include:
Degenerative disc disease exercises and stretches
Hot and cold therapy
Epidural steroid injections
Spinal cord stimulation
Surgery, in extreme cases
More advanced interventions are normally reserved for patients who have severe, life-altering pain that hasn’t responded to other treatment methods.
If you’ve just started experiencing this type of pain, over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications can help relieve a brief episode of pain. Another at-home option is to apply alternate hot and cold compresses to sore areas.
Core strengthening exercises, such as yoga or swimming, can also help. Your doctor may also recommend the use of a brace.
Physical therapy is another great first-line treatment choice when you’re experiencing pain. You’ll perform a program of stretches, low-impact exercise, and specific conditioning guided by your physical therapist. This will help build weak muscles and work out tension.
Some other non-medical therapies may have some benefit for patients with mild to moderate pain. These include acupuncture, which is a procedure in which thin needles are inserted into various body parts to promote the release of endorphins.
Finally, chiropractic care can help resolve some issues due to this condition.
Degenerative Disc Disease | PainDoctor.com
Patients with degenerative disc disease may also consider conventional drug therapy, or over-the-counter medications. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are common painkillers, such as ibuprofen. These reduce inflammation and treat mild to moderate pain. Oral corticosteroids can also reduce inflammation. They may be an effective option for patients without severe pain.
However, medications don’t generally resolve the underlying causes of the pain. While they can be helpful for short-term episodes, or more painful days, they’re not a good long-term management option. Or, if they are used, they’re taken alongside other treatments.
Patients whose degenerative disc disease is accompanied with severe pain should talk to their doctors about other options.
Epidural steroid injections involve the injection of steroid medications into a space between the vertebrae and spinal cord. This is associated with effective pain relief for many patients. The following video gives a great overview of how this procedure works.
Spinal cord stimulation is another procedure that can help in severe cases. Your doctor will implant a device that modulates pain signals to the brain. It’s safely implanted near your spinal cord. This device is connected to a hand-held controller that you can activate in response to pain.
Spinal cord stimulation has been shown to be effective in treating chronic pain conditions in the long term. One patient talks about how this option helped her find relief from her pain.
Finally, some cases of degenerative disc disease may result in severely damaged intervertebral disc material. This can cause severe chronic pain, numbness, or loss of motion. It may occur in conjunction with disc herniation, in which the outer part of the disc may rupture. Discography, in which discs suspected of extensive damage are injected with contrast material, can help determine whether this has taken place.
If this test proves positive, your doctor may need to remove these parts of your disc. Your doctor can use a discectomy to remove abnormal disc material is removed. This may be done in conjunction with disc decompression, which reduces the chances of damage to surrounding nerve tissue.
If you suffer from pain, you may be experiencing degenerative disc disease. Thankfully, there are options for reducing your pain and getting back to your life.
This condition is thought to be related to the wear and tear of the intervertebral discs of the spine over time. It’s often related to aging. Some researchers conclude that pain and damage to disc material is associated with excess inflammation in this tissue.
Many therapies can address your symptoms. Common first-line treatments include oral painkillers and physical therapy. Patients with more severe pain that is resistant to other treatments may consider epidural steroid injections. Your doctor will only attempt surgical interventions if other options haven’t worked or you’re experiencing sensory and motor deficits.
If you’re in pain, you don’t have to suffer alone. A dedicated pain specialist can help diagnose the cause of your pain. From there, she or he can provide treatment options that could work for you. They’ll use the least invasive therapies possible to provide you with the most pain relief.
Global Neuro & Spine Institute physicians are double and triple-board certified, fellowship trained, and remain on the cutting edge of technology. In our practice, we use the most advanced techniques and the highest standards to develop an individualized and comprehensive treatment plan for each of our patients. We are also very proud of our policy to place great importance on educating those we treat, while addressing any questions or concerns that may exist.
Tel: (800) 735-1178