If you are suffering from a degenerative spine, you may be experiencing painful symptoms that can make it difficult to continue with your normal, everyday life. Our spine is what enables us to stand upright, bend and twist, and it endures wear and tear during our everyday activities. After many years, the spine can begin to break down and a degenerative spinal condition can develop. Depending on the location and severity of the condition, symptoms can include localized pain, stiffness, radiating pain, numbness and tingling in the extremities and muscle weakness.
Common misconceptions about a degenerative spine
There are many aspects of a degenerative spine diagnosis that aren’t well understood. Some common misconceptions include:
- A degenerative spine is a specific condition. Degenerative spine is actually a term used to describe many different conditions that can occur due to spinal degeneration. They include spinal osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease, spondylolisthesis, bulging and herniated discs, spinal stenosis, bone spurs, sciatica, foraminal stenosis and others.
- A degenerative spine is rare. Actually, degenerative spinal conditions affect millions of Americans, though the majority don’t experience noticeable symptoms.
- A degenerative spine is avoidable. Degenerative spinal conditions are almost always the product of the body’s natural aging process and the stress that the spine endures. Therefore, they are often unavoidable.
- A degenerative spine will only continue to get worse. There are many different conservative and alternative treatment options that can help diminish the symptoms of a degenerative spinal condition. They include stretching and strengthening exercises, over-the-counter pain medications, hot/cold therapy, chiropractic care, massage therapy and more. Additionally, eliminating risk factors such as obesity, tobacco use, heavy alcohol use and high-impact sports can slow or stop the progression of degenerative spine conditions.
Additional treatment options
A large majority of people suffering from a degenerative spine will experience relief from their symptoms after trying conservative and alternative treatments for several months. For those who continue to experience severe pain, surgery might be an option to consider. The board-certified surgeons at USA Spine Care perform minimally invasive surgery to treat a full range of degenerative spinal conditions. Contact us today to find out if you are a candidate for our outpatient surgery.