10 degenerative disc disease treatment methods
Degenerative disc disease is a condition that describes the continuous deterioration of the spine’s discs. These discs are made up of a hard outer layer of cartilage (annulus fibrosus) and an inner gelatinous core (nucleus pulposus), and act as the spine’s shock absorbers. As aging occurs, the annulus fibrosus weakens and the water content within the nucleus pulposus decreases, making the discs more susceptible to damage.
In and of itself, degenerative disc disease usually only causes minor, localized pain. However, if degenerative disc disease causes other changes in the spine that result in the compression of a nerve root or the spinal cord, a number of symptoms may develop, including localized or radiating pain, numbness or tingling and muscle weakness.
Conservative degenerative disc disease treatment
There are a number of treatment options, both surgical and nonsurgical, available to individuals experiencing the potentially debilitating symptoms of degenerative disc disease. Most often, a patient’s physician will prescribe a regimen of conservative degenerative disc disease treatment aimed at managing the patient’s symptoms and improving their quality of life. Conservative treatment for degenerative disc disease may include:
- An initial period of rest
- Over-the-counter pain medication
- Physical therapy
- Hot and cold compresses
Alternative degenerative disc disease treatment
In addition to the conservative treatment methods mentioned above, some patients explore alternative methods of degenerative disc disease treatment on their own. While these methods are not largely recognized by physicians, many patients who have tried them have reported significant relief. Some common alternative methods of degenerative disc disease treatment include:
- Massage therapy
- Chiropractic manipulation
- Herbal supplements
Occasionally, a patient may find several weeks or months of nonsurgical degenerative disc disease treatment unsuccessful in managing their symptoms. If you find yourself in this position, surgery may be the appropriate next step on your path to an improved quality of life.
While there are many surgical options available to patients with degenerative disc disease, the surgeons at Laser Spine Institute perform minimally invasive, outpatient procedures that offer many advantages over traditional open neck or back surgery. For example, our procedures utilize advanced muscle-sparing techniques, which allows our patients to experience shorter recovery times^ compared to traditional open spine surgery.
To find out if you may be a candidate for our procedures, contact Laser Spine Institute today to receive a no-cost review* of your MRI.