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Can degeneration of the spine be reversed?

As a consequence of the natural aging process, spinal degeneration is a progressive condition that cannot be reversed. However, the nature, extent and rate of the degeneration can vary widely, as can the symptoms. Even though the degeneration itself can be expected to worsen, it is important to understand that this does not necessarily mean that its symptoms will. In fact, with some lifestyle changes and conservative degenerative spine treatment, many people find that they actually feel better with time.

Managing the symptoms of a degenerative spine

Any discomfort associated with spinal degeneration can often be effectively addressed with conservative degenerative spine treatment, such as physical therapy, hot and/or cold compresses and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). The goals of treatment are to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, minimize stress on the spine and prevent further injuries.

Another possible way to improve your comfort is to make small but meaningful adjustments to your daily routine. In addition to enhancing your overall health, positive lifestyle practices can enhance the health of your spine and the muscles that support it. Some healthy spine habits include:

  • Stretching and exercising regularly
  • Drinking plenty of water
  • Practicing good posture
  • Taking periodic breaks from extended sitting
  • Avoiding heavy lifting and any activities that involve bending or twisting the spine
  • Quitting smoking and avoiding all other forms of tobacco use
  • Minimizing consumption of alcoholic beverages

Surgery to address a degenerative spine

If your discomfort is severe and you ultimately decide to explore surgical treatment, you should know that the minimally invasive outpatient surgery performed by the surgeons at USA Spine Care is often clinically appropriate and provides many advantages versus open neck or back surgery.^ If you would like to learn more, contact us to request a free MRI review.* Our team can explain your options and help determine if you are a candidate for our minimally invasive surgery.

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