Home » Spine Conditions » Degenerative Disc Disease » Degenerative disc disease — three simple tips to help you manage your pain
If you have degenerative disc disease, you might find that you need to seek treatment as you get older and your spine condition progresses. Over time, your spinal discs will naturally lose moisture, which can make them more prone to damage that causes them to bulge and herniate. Damaged discs are also less effective at cushioning the vertebrae, which can lead to painful bone-on-bone contact. All of these issues can create uncomfortable pressure on the spinal cord or a nerve root.
If you’re ready to explore treatments for pain associated with degenerative disc disease, you probably won’t need to think about spine surgery just yet (and maybe not ever). Instead, your physician may recommend that you start out with some simple home remedies, such as using a heating pad, ice pack or over-the-counter medications as needed. And, if you don’t see an immediate improvement, don’t feel discouraged and give up too soon. It’s essential to allow nonsurgical treatments some time to work. In general, a few weeks of consistent use should start to produce results.
Three tips to help you manage your pain
For effective degenerative disc disease treatment, here are some general guidelines to follow:
- Take care of your spine. Stressful movements like bending, twisting and lifting performed repetitively over time can accelerate the rate of spinal degeneration and the resulting pain. By making some changes in your daily routine, you may be able to avoid body positions and movements that take a toll on your spine and make you feel worse.
- Increase your activity level. Don’t allow your discomfort to keep you sidelined from life for too long. While it might seem counterintuitive, physical activity can actually improve degenerative disc disease symptoms. Walking on a regular basis can go a long way toward helping you feel better, and this treatment costs nothing and can be performed virtually anywhere.
- Be open-minded. If you are interested, you might ask your physician about trying some complementary or alternative treatments, such as yoga, therapeutic massage, chiropractic manipulation, acupuncture or nutritional supplements. While some of these options are scientifically unproven and subject to debate within the mainstream medical community, many people have positive experiences with them.
If your pain doesn’t go away
A few weeks or months of conservative degenerative disc disease treatment might help you feel considerably better. But, if your pain persists or worsens, you may be interested in knowing that the surgeons at USA Spine Care perform minimally invasive outpatient procedures that are safer and more effective alternatives to traditional open spine surgery.^ To find out if you’re a candidate, call to speak with someone from our caring team.
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