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Does mild to moderate degenerative disc disease get better?

If you’ve been diagnosed with mild to moderate degenerative disc disease, one of your first questions was probably, “Can my spine get better?” There’s no simple answer to that question because it depends on the severity of your condition(s) and several other variables. What we can tell you, though, is that many people with degenerative disc disease find relief from their symptoms through various nonsurgical treatment measures.

A little about degenerative disc disease

It’s important for you to know that even the title degenerative disc disease is misleading — the condition isn’t a disease. Rather, it’s a natural breakdown of the spinal discs that can occur throughout the aging process, although some people experience damage to their discs due to repetitive stress or traumatic impacts. The term also encompasses several separate conditions that are the result of changes in a person’s spinal anatomy, including the occurrence of bulging or herniated discs and bone spurs.

Can it be cured?

Although it is a relatively common occurrence, there is still no cure for degenerative disc disease. That’s not to say that you’ll be stuck coping with the symptoms forever, however. Many people who have experienced the degeneration of their spinal discs alleviate their pain and other symptoms through conservative, or nonsurgical, treatment methods.

What treatments are available?

You might be experiencing localized pain associated with the damaged elements of your spine, or traveling symptoms caused by spinal nerve root compression due to the damaged discs. Either way, you might find one or more of the following measures to be helpful in controlling your symptoms:

  • Taking medications to reduce pain and/or inflammation
  • Performing regular exercise to improve circulation, muscle tone and overall health
  • Completing a physical therapy regimen to thoroughly stretch and strengthen the spine
  • Applying ice and/or heat to the affected areas for temporary pain or inflammation relief
  • Looking into alternative therapies like acupuncture for additional help

It’s important to talk to your physician about developing an appropriate treatment plan for your needs. It may take a few weeks of trial and error, but you may very well notice your symptoms improving with treatment.

What about surgery?

Surgery should only be considered when conservative methods don’t work, due to the inherent risks involved with any operation. But, because surgery can directly address the damaged components of the spine and the pinched nerves that can cause symptoms, it may provide relief where other methods have fallen short.

If your physician recommends you for degenerative disc disease surgery, be sure to research all of the options available to you, including the minimally invasive surgery performed at USA Spine Care. Our minimally invasive procedures are often the clinically appropriate first choice and provide many advantages versus open neck or back surgery.^

Contact USA Spine Care for more information about our minimally invasive degenerative disc disease surgery.

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