Degenerative disc disease treatment options vary widely depending on a patient’s particular needs. When recommending a treatment plan, a health care provider may take into account several factors, such as age, overall health and how significantly the symptoms limit daily activities. Examples of common degenerative disc disease treatment choices include:
- Rest – Bed rest may be recommended for a few days. However, physicians often limit bed rest because the reduction of movement may worsen stiffness and cause medical complications.
- Physical therapy – This treatment is twofold. Physical therapy for degenerative disc disease focuses on: (1) relaxing the neck and back to reduce muscle tension, spasms, etc.; and (2) increasing the body’s strength and flexibility so that the neck and back are properly supported. Examples of physical therapy treatments include massage, hot compresses and exercises designed to improve stability, flexibility and range of motion.
- Exercise –When your neck and back hurt it can be difficult to work out. However, in many cases, degenerative disc disease exercises will increase strength, reduce stiffness and relieve pain. Before beginning any exercise regimen, your plans should be approved by your physician.
- Medications – All over-the-counter, prescription or injected medications for degenerative disc disease have one main purpose — to reduce pain. Depending on the patient, physicians may prescribe analgesics, anti-inflammatory medications, muscle relaxants and oral or steroid injections to manage pain.
- Chiropractic and alternative treatments – Chiropractors take a hands-on approach to treating spinal problems by making manual adjustments to the neck and back. These adjustments are designed to return the spinal column to proper alignment.
- Other alternative remedies – These treatments are less commonly accepted, but may be useful. They may include herbal remedies, acupuncture or even wearing a special magnetic bracelet.
In some cases, patients do not respond to conservative treatment and surgery is suggested. When conservative (non-invasive) treatment has failed, more invasive treatments may be required. In the past, “more invasive” has meant traditional open spine surgery. Due to more advanced approaches to surgery, “more invasive” no longer must mean traditional open spinal surgery. It now may mean minimally invasive spine surgery. To avoid unnecessary destruction of normal tissue and minimize risk of complications, it is reasonable to determine the least invasive, yet effective, surgical treatment possible. Accomplishing an effective treatment while maintaining the least disruptive course of action is the aim of Laser Spine Institute. With substantial effort and financial expenditure the physicians at Laser Spine Institute have perfected innovative, minimally invasive procedures to treat a variety of spinal conditions.
Please investigate the minimally invasive procedures performed at Laser Spine Institute. Laser Spine Institute offers effective procedures with less tissue destruction, a shorter recovery period and lower risk of complications than traditional open spine surgeries of all types. Contact us today for a complimentary review of your MRI or CT scan, and to receive more information about us.