Managing degenerative disc disease symptoms with at-home treatments
How you can manage degenerative disc disease symptoms at home
Degenerative disc disease symptoms can begin as just a brief pain when bending or twisting a certain way, before they progressively worsen to chronic pain. If you are proactive about scheduling an appointment with your doctor and finding a treatment program, you may be able to relieve the pain and symptoms with a series of at-home treatments.
Before you begin any at-home treatment, you should consult your doctor. Some treatments may irritate your symptoms and make your condition worse. Once your degenerative disc disease has been diagnosed and an initial treatment plan has been developed by a qualified physician, you can move forward with finding pain relief.
Maintaining an open line of communication with your doctor is necessary, especially if you find your symptoms worsening or not responding to the treatment.
Home treatments for DDD
Treatment methods for degenerative disc disease symptoms that could be administered at home include:
- Physical therapy and lifestyle changes — geared toward improving posture and learning how to avoid particular activities that may worsen symptoms
- Low-impact cardiovascular exercise — to improve circulation, thereby enhancing the body’s ability to deliver vital nutrients to the damaged areas of the spine
- Stretching techniques — that improve the flexibility of the neck or back
- Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) — and pain relievers to reduce swelling and relieve pain
- Prescription-strength narcotics — for extreme pain and sleeplessness
Not all conservative treatment methods for managing degenerative disc disease symptoms are suitable for everyone. Your doctor will work with you to create a personalized treatment program to help you find pain relief.
When surgery becomes an option
If all nonsurgical methods of treatment have been exhausted and you’re still in pain, surgery may become an option. It’s important to review all your options for spine surgery before moving forward with a procedure. You may find that some types of surgery offer benefits over others.
For example, the minimally invasive spine surgery at Laser Spine Institute is a safer and effective alternative to traditional open neck or back surgery.^ This is because our minimally invasive approach to the spine and our outpatient setting allows our patients to experience a shorter recovery time, lower risk of complication and a lower risk of infection (0.41 percent) compared to traditional spine surgery.^