If degenerative disc disease (DDD) is interfering with your quality of life, work with your doctor to find treatment to minimize the symptoms of your condition. While DDD can be painful and debilitating, it is possible to find lasting relief that allows you to enjoy the things you love to do, whether that means gardening or golf. Finding the right combination of treatments for you does require patience and dedication to make the lifestyle changes that can contribute to your spine health.
Minimizing degenerative disc disease
Keep in mind there is no single treatment plan that works for everyone. Your specific plan will depend on factors like your age, health and the severity of your degenerative disc disease symptoms. The following four pieces of advice are intended to help you stay on track and give you the best chance of finding the relief you deserve:
- Exercise is important. Many patients are surprised to learn their degenerative disc disease treatment plan usually includes low-impact exercise or stretching exercises. These physical activities are important because they can help strengthen core muscles, increase spinal flexibility and take some of the strain away from damaged discs and compressed nerves.
- Don’t overdo it. While staying active is important, it can be tempting to want to push too hard. When your doctor gives you a treatment plan, follow it closely but don’t try to do too much too soon. Pushing yourself too far can make matters worse and cause avoidable frustration.
- Listen to your body. If you find a specific daily activity, exercise or stretching technique is making you particularly uncomfortable or seems to trigger symptoms, stop doing it and speak with your specialist. Sharp pain and other discomfort could be warning signs you might be doing further harm.
- Take care of yourself. One of the best things you can do to help minimize degenerative disc disease is to lead a healthy lifestyle. Losing excess body weight, for example, reduces the strain placed on the spinal column, which can subsequently relieve disc pain. Avoiding alcohol and tobacco can also improve the overall health of your spinal discs.
When to consider surgery for degenerative disc disease
For additional information about ways you can minimize degenerative disc disease, speak with your doctor. In many cases, DDD symptoms can be effectively managed without the need for surgery, but it can become a serious consideration if other options are exhausted without improving symptoms.
USA Spine Care performs minimally invasive spine surgery on an outpatient basis. These procedures use muscle-sparing techniques to access the spine, which contributes to less risk of complication compared to traditional open spine surgery.
Contact our dedicated and caring team of Spine Care Consultants today if you are exploring spine surgery. We will be happy to provide you with a no-cost MRI review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.