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Five alternative degenerative disc disease treatments

Degenerative disc disease is a fairly common spinal condition that affects millions of Americans. In actuality, degenerative disc disease is not a disease. Instead, it is a term that is used to encompass several different degenerative spine conditions including a collapsed disc, a herniated disc, a ruptured disc and spinal stenosis.

The good news is that there are a wide variety of nonsurgical treatments — including alternative medicine options — that can help you find relief from the symptoms of degenerative disc disease that you are experiencing.

Understanding degenerative disc disease

Spinal discs are situated between the vertebrae in the spine and are designed to provide cushioning for the vertebrae while absorbing much of the stress that the spine is subjected to on a daily basis. Understandably, years of wear and tear can cause the spinal discs to become fragile, lose water content and ultimately to lose their shape. When a spinal disc bulges, tears or collapses, it sometimes applies pressure on the spinal cord or a spinal nerve root. This can lead to symptoms which could limit your daily activities, such as localized or radiating pain, numbness in the arms or legs and muscle weakness.

Treating degenerative disc disease

When you receive a diagnosis, your physician will likely suggest a degenerative disc disease treatment plan that includes a combination of conservative (nonsurgical) options such as hot/cold therapy, pain and anti-inflammatory medications and strengthening exercises.

Though there isn’t definitive medical evidence about their effectiveness, many patients also explore alternative treatments, including:

  1. Chiropractic care. More and more research is showing that spinal manipulation can help reduce the symptoms of many different spinal conditions.
  2. Massage therapy. Reducing muscle tension can help lessen the stress being placed on the spine.
  3. Acupuncture. Pain relief is provided through needles that are placed into specific points on the body.
  4. Yoga. Increased flexibility and stronger back muscles can help reduce the symptoms of degenerative disc disease.
  5. Herbal supplements. Some patients believe that supplements have the ability to reduce pain and inflammation and speed up the healing of spinal conditions.

In instances where conservative and alternative treatments fail to reduce the painful symptoms of degenerative disc disease, the patient may want to consider his or her surgical options. USA Spine Care treats degenerative disc disease and other spine conditions with our minimally invasive spine surgery, and our skilled surgeons perform thousands of minimally invasive spine surgeries each year.^ Contact us today if you would like to learn more.

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