TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • Foreword 1
  • Acknowledgments 5
  • Table of Contents 7
  • Part 1 – Disc Disease Overview 11
  • The Structure of the Human Spine 11
  • The Spinal Vertebrae 11
  • The Function of the Discs 13
  • The Spinal Cord 14
  • When Degeneration Sets In 15
  • Inflammatory Disc Pain 15
  • Mechanical Disc Pain 17
  • Spinal Stenosis 17
  • Bone Spurs 17
  • Diagnosing Degenerative Disc Disease 19
  • Special Section – Spinal Health Tips 21
  • Practice Safe Lifting Techniques 21
  • Stand in a Supportive Way 22
  • Sit With Proper Posture 22
  • Be Careful Reaching and Bending 23
  • Carry Loads Wisely 23
  • Eat Well and Exercise 23
  • Sleeping Is Hard Work! 24
  • Give Up the Cigarettes 24
  • Part 2 – Disc Disease by Region 27
  • Cervical Disc Disease 28
  • The Cervical Spine 28
  • Types of Neck Pain 30
  • Diagnosing Cervical Disc Disease 31
  • Treating Cervical Disc Disease 32
  • Cervical Discectomy or Fusion 33
  • Thoracic Disc Disease 34
  • Thoracic Disc Herniation 35
  • Diagnosing Thoracic Disc Disease 36
  • Treating Thoracic Disc Disease 36
  • Lumbar Disc Diseas 38
  • Diagnosing Lumbar Disc Disease 38
  • Treating Lumbar Disc Disease 40
  • Part 3 – Standard Medical Treatments 41
  • Non-Operative Treatments 41
  • Physical Therapy 42
  • Common Prescribed Medications 49
  • Epidural Steroid Injections 51
  • Heat and Cold Therapy 52
  • Surgical Treatment Options 55
  • Cervical Disc Procedures 55
  • Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion 56
  • Cervical Disc Replacement 57
  • Thoracic Disc Procedures 58
  • Laminectomy 58
  • Thoracotomy 59
  • Costotransversectomy 59
  • Lumbar Disc Procedures 59
  • Lumbar Disc Fusion 60
  • Artificial Disc Replacement 60
  • Part 4 – Alternative Treatments and Self-Care 63
  • Exercise for Healing and Prevention 63
  • Custom Braces 63
  • Chiropractic Treatments 64
  • Rolfing 66
  • Acupuncture 67
  • Magnets 68
  • Meditation 68
  • Ergonomic Furniture 70
  • Herbal Remedies 70
  • Alternative Therapies in Combination 71
  • Special Section – Coping with Chronic Pain 73
  • Stress Reduction 73
  • Some Things That Don’t Work 73
  • Endorphins, Natural Drug of Choice 74
  • Practice Deep Breathing 74
  • Don’t Concentrate on the Pain 75
  • Keep a Pain Journal 75
  • Be Kind to Yourself 76
  • Part 5 – Nutrition and Spinal Health 79
  • Hydration and Disc Health 79
  • Back Pain and Obesity 81
  • Inflammation and Back Pain 81
  • Avoid Smoking, Reduce Alcohol Consumption 83
  • Calcium 84
  • The Vitamin D 87
  • Afterword 89
  • Relevant Websites 93
  • Frequently Asked Questions 95
  • Glossary 103
  • Index 111