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Can you fix degenerative disc disease?

There is no “fix” for degenerative disc disease. This progressive spinal condition, which can be painful — especially if a damaged disc presses on the spinal cord or a nearby nerve root — can be expected to worsen with time. Rather than attempting to “fix” the degeneration itself, the goal of treatment is to manage the associated discomfort by alleviating pressure on an affected nerve. While surgery is one way to accomplish this, it is not the only way.

Treatment options for a degenerated disc

In many cases, degenerative disc disease symptoms respond well to conservative treatment. This means spine surgery is often unnecessary. If you require treatment for a damaged disc, your physician can evaluate your diagnosis, recommend a customized treatment approach, monitor your progress and make any necessary adjustments as your condition progresses. In general, you may benefit from:

  • Modifying your daily routine — to avoid body positions and movements that worsen your discomfort
  • Exercising regularly — to strengthen the muscles that support your spine, which can help shift painful pressure away from a damaged disc or compressed spinal nerve
  • Taking over-the-counter pain relievers — or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) as directed
  • Wearing a cervical collar or back brace — to support your spine

After using these and other first-line degenerative disc disease treatments over the course of several weeks, you should begin to notice an improvement in your symptoms. To provide further relief, your physician may suggest a prescription pain reliever, muscle relaxant or spinal injection. If you pass the three-month mark without achieving the results you need, your physician may broach the subject of spinal decompression surgery, which you might decide to explore further if you feel your symptoms warrant it.

Spinal decompression surgery

If you are interested in learning how degenerative disc disease can be addressed with minimally invasive outpatient surgery, contact USA Spine Care. Our team can answer your questions and provide a free MRI review* to help determine if you are a candidate for a minimally invasive spinal decompression procedure. Our approach has helped us earn a patient satisfaction score of 98.^

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