A guide to help you learn more about degenerative disc disease treatment
Degenerative disc disease treatment is meant to relieve the symptoms associated with nerve compression caused by the natural breakdown of one or more spinal discs. As these important spinal components weaken, the stability of the spine is jeopardized. Spinal instability can lead to nerve compression, causing localized pain, radiating pain, tingling, numbness, muscle weakness or muscle atrophy in the extremities. A large number of people affected by degenerative disc disease (DDD) can manage their symptoms using conservative treatment methods.
Specific methods of treatment
No two cases of DDD are precisely alike, which means there is no one formula for degenerative disc disease treatment. The best type of treatment recommended by a physician depends on a number of factors, including:
- The severity and frequency of the symptoms
- The location within the spine of the nerve compression that is causing symptoms
- The overall health of the patient
- The specific underlying condition such as a herniated disc, bulging disc or collapsed disc
- Treatment methods that have been attempted without success in the past
Although the combination of methods will differ from patient to patient, there are a number of conservative treatment options that are generally reliable for most people. Pain and swelling can be treated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and pain relievers. Stretching and strengthening exercises can help improve mobility and better support the spine. Cardiovascular exercise, such as walking or riding a stationary bike, may also be recommended. Some patients respond well to inflammation and pain reducing corticosteroid injections that can help with the completion of a physical therapy program that may not have otherwise been possible. Before starting any type of treatment, it is extremely important that you first get a proper diagnosis from your doctor and discuss possible treatment options together.
When to consider surgery for degenerative disc disease
If pain and other symptoms related to DDD remain debilitating after several weeks or months of conservative treatment, you might require surgery to regain your quality of life. At Laser Spine Institute, we specialize in minimally invasive spine surgery to treat DDD. We offer minimally invasive decompression and stabilization procedures with shorter recovery periods^ and lower risks of infection and complication than traditional open spine surgery. Contact us today to learn more.
We are happy to offer you a no-cost review of your MRI report or CT scan* to determine if you may be a candidate for minimally invasive spine surgery at Laser Spine Institute.