Degenerative disc disease is the ongoing deterioration of spinal discs, the spongy material in between vertebrae that act as shock absorbers for the spine. The condition is most commonly diagnosed in individuals who are over the age of 50, as this is when years of regular wear and tear begin to cause degenerative changes in the spine’s anatomy.
Managing degenerative disc disease pain
With treatment, individuals with degenerative disc disease are often able to live normal lives and engage in comfortable activity. If you have recently been diagnosed with this condition and are concerned with how it might impact your life, here are five tips you can follow to help manage the pain and other symptoms caused by degenerative disc disease:
- Be sure to follow your prescribed treatment plan, as this will likely have been tailored to meet your unique case of degenerative disc disease.
- Keep your physician informed of your progress as you undergo treatment, including any new or worsening symptoms. This will allow your treatment plan to be altered as necessary.
- Be sure to get adequate amounts of rest. Sleep not only helps the body heal, but can also increase energy and improve mood — both of which can be beneficial when undergoing medical treatment.
- Utilize psychological tools to help self-manage your pain. The mind is a powerful thing, and many experts agree that cognitive methods such as visualization can help to relieve pain.
- Continue following your course of treatment until advised otherwise by a physician. Often, patients stop following their prescribed course of treatment when their symptoms improve. However, because conservative treatment aims to address a patient’s symptoms rather than their underlying cause, this treatment is necessary to maintain lasting relief.
Degenerative disc disease surgery
Despite attempting several treatments, some patients will not find lasting relief from conservative methods. In this case, surgery may be recommended. Though open spine surgery is most commonly recommended for patients in this situation, the surgeons at USA Spine Care offer minimally invasive outpatient procedures as an alternative to open spine surgery.^ Our procedures boast shorter recovery times, a 2.26 percent complication rate and a 0.55 percent infection rate, giving them significant advantages over traditional spine surgery.
If you would like to find out if you are a candidate for our procedures, contact USA Spine Care and our team will be glad to review your MRI at no cost. *
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