Non-Surgical Options to Deal with Degenerative Disc Disease
Posted Jul 19 2013 6:30am
Non-surgical options such as physical therapy, spinal decompression, and chiropractic manipulation can treat degenerative disc disease.
Aging affects many parts of the body. Degenerative disc disease occurs as a result of the aging of the spine. However, younger people can also be affected because of stresses and strains that the back is often subject to. Though the deterioration of spinal health is a continual process, problems begin when pain occurs. In addition to pain in the affected area, disc degeneration can affect the neck, mid back, lower back, buttocks and thighs, and limit the person’s normal functions and activity. While surgery was once considered the only solution, there are now many non-surgical options to deal with degenerative disc disease.
How Degenerative Disc Disease is Caused
As a person ages, the intervertebral discs lose their elasticity and flexibility. The ligaments that surround the disc become weak and susceptible to tears. The soft gel-like center of the disc, which gives it the spongy nature that helps to absorb stresses and shocks, dries out and shrinks. This affects the outer ligament that supports and holds the vertebrae together. The disc space between the vertebrae gets narrower, affecting the working of the facet joints. The formation of bone spurs around the disc space and into the spinal canal can worsen the problem and lead to spinal stenosis.
Non-Surgical Treatments for Disc Degeneration
Leading multi-specialty healthcare centers offer the following non-invasive therapies to help treat disc degeneration problems.
- Physical Therapy: Physical therapy can help reduce the pain and stiffness caused by degenerated discs, and also improve strength and range of motion. In addition to massage and therapeutic exercises, the treatment would also include ice or heat application to eliminate muscle spasm and inflammation, massage and myofascial release, and Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS).
- Chiropractic Manipulation: This 'hands-on' treatment is administered to restore the proper functioning of the spine. The chiropractor identifies the joints that are affected and makes manual adjustments on the spine to improve motion. Trigger point therapy can provide relief for painful muscle points.
- Spinal Decompression: This therapy involves the use of a FDA-approved spinal decompression device to mend the damaged spinal discs, reverse nerve impairment, and minimize the load of the spine.
- Medications: Medication for degenerative disc disease serves to reduce the pain. Commonly suggested medications are analgesics, oral or steroid injections, anti-inflammatory medication, and muscle relaxants.
Schedule a Consultation at a Professional Healthcare Center
If you have pain in the back that spreads to the buttocks and upper thighs, this could be an early symptom of degenerative disc disease. Find a reputable healthcare center offering non-surgical options to treat the condition. Using advanced diagnostic modalities including X-rays and MRI scans, the physician will first evaluate you to see if your problems are truly a result of disc degeneration. Your medical history will be examined. You will then be provided with a customized treatment plan which may include one or more of the above options, depending on your condition. The right healthcare center would ensure end-to-end treatment and care to put you on to the path of recovery.