The most common degenerative disc disease (DDD) treatment options include pain medication, physical therapy and other methods that help reduce the pain associated with this condition. Many people are surprised to learn that DDD can be treated with the same methods used to treat many other common causes of neck and back pain, like herniated discs, but that’s because degenerative disc disease isn’t a disease in the way it’s commonly thought of.
DDD is a condition in which the spine’s discs wear down gradually with age, causing them to become narrow, arthritic or shrink. Due to aging or traumatic injury, degeneration can occur resulting in the discs to lose some of its cushion and shock absorption capabilities. As the discs become thinner, less flexible and more susceptible to tears, these changes can impact nearby nerve roots, causing symptoms like pain, tingling, numbness and muscle weakness. Read the following article to learn about the treatments available to treat this degenerative condition.
Conservative treatments for degenerative disc disease
In most cases, doctors recommend trying conservative therapy as the first method of treatment, saving surgery as a last resort option. Some conservative degenerative disc disease treatment options include:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), either an over-the-counter medication like ibuprofen or a stronger prescription medication
- Lifestyle changes, like losing excess weight or adjusting your sleep posture
- Stretching and light exercise, which can help reduce stiffness in your back
More often than not, these conservative treatments provide patients with sufficient relief from the pain and discomfort they’re experiencing. If the above conservative treatments don’t sufficiently relieve your symptoms, your doctor may suggest other options, such as:
- Steroid injections, which are injected near the spine to reduce inflammation
- Physical therapy, which can help you improve your range of motion and manage pain
If no combination of conservative treatments gives you the relief you need to return to your normal activities, surgery may be an option.
Surgery for degenerative disc disease
The minimally invasive surgery performed at USA Spine Care is a safer and effective alternative to traditional open spine surgery, offering a shorter recovery time with less scarring for our patients.^ To discover if you’re a candidate for minimally invasive spine surgery at USA Spine Care, reach out to our dedicated team today. We can help you recapture your quality of life from degenerative disc disease.
At USA Spine Care, we have helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from chronic neck and back pain, setting us apart as the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery. Our highly skilled surgeons can remove a portion of the degenerated disc in order to relieve the effects of this debilitating disease and provide the patient with lasting relief. Contact us today and request a no-cost MRI review* to determine if you could benefit from one of our procedures.
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