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Anyone who has suffered from degenerative disc disease knows the intensity of pain associated with this condition. Even though the pain might be intermittent, it can still impact how you go about your daily life. It becomes difficult, if not downright impossible, to perform basic tasks without feeling some level of pain.
A comprehensive treatment approach towards degenerative disc disease involves a combination of techniques such as low impact exercises, physical therapy, spinal manipulation, medications and surgery.
Physical Therapy and Low-impact Exercise
If the pain level is low, or if you experience pain only when performing certain tasks, you can opt for low impact, aerobic exercises as pain management for DDD. If you are experiencing significant pain, it is recommended you consult with a certified physical therapist to devise your exercise program. If possible, these exercises should be performed under their supervision.
One example of low-impact exercises for DDD patients is stretching, particularly focusing on the neck, shoulders and lower back. The aim of stretching is to infuse flexibility back into those muscles for improved mobility and to ease muscle tension.
Another form of physical therapy treatment for DDD is low-impact aerobic conditioning. Aside from improving flexibility, it is designed to boost strength in the lower back muscles.
Alternative treatment methods have emerged to provide solution to degenerative disc disease. These treatment methods are designed to aid in pain management or normalize movement in the affected areas (from neck to lower back). One example of alternative treatment is the use of epidural steroid injections. This treatment lasts for a two-week period.
Chiropractic care is one of the newer methods of treatment that emerged for degenerative disc disease. It involves manipulation and re-alignment of the spine and joints. Since your spine serve as the backbone of your entire body, it is important that it is properly aligned to correct posture and ease pain. This is an extremely dangerous procedure (when not done right) so you have to find a qualified chiropractor to perform the treatment.
Medications for DDD
The intake of medications for degenerative disc disease is useful for pain management. However, it will not treat the cause of the problem. Patients suffering from DDD are usually advised to intake analgesics, muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatory medications. The right dosage should be assessed by the physician to ensure the patient’s safety.
For advanced cases, surgery is recommended to treat degenerative disc disease. This should be considered as a last resort and ensure that you have exhausted all efforts to try non-invasive treatments. Depending on the extent of your disc problem, you can go for lumbar fusion or artificial disc replacement.
The treatment approach used for treating degenerative disc disease should be recommended by a professional. This will ensure that the right diagnostic test is conducted to assess the extent of your disc problem to recommend the most appropriate treatment method. The entire treatment procedure should be closely monitored by a certified physician as well.