Degenerative spine — alternative options for treatment
While doctors will usually recommend conventional options to treat a degenerative spine condition, patients sometimes choose to supplement their treatment plan with alternative therapies. Alternative medicine is generally defined as any therapeutic practice that is outside of the medical mainstream.
Many patients do report finding relief with some of the methods listed below, but it is important to partner closely with your doctor when exploring alternative treatments for degenerative spine conditions. In addition to ensuring that any of these practices are compatible with your prescribed treatment, you should also ask if he or she could recommend a reputable practitioner near you.
Chiropractors use manual spinal adjustment techniques to realign the spine and potentially relieve pressure on nerves. Chiropractors can also use other techniques like trigger point manipulation and electrical stimulation to address your symptoms. If you’re considering chiropractic care, be sure to find a licensed and certified doctor who attended an accredited chiropractic school.
Massage therapy can be closely related to chiropractic care, with some chiropractors offering massage as one of their alternative treatments. For people with degenerative spine conditions, a massage can relax muscles and increase the blood flow to the affected areas of their necks or backs and temporarily relieve pain.
Yoga, which focuses on stretching and strengthening muscles while improving body awareness and quality of breathing, may improve symptoms for patients with degenerative spine conditions. There are many types of yoga for people with all levels of flexibility, so many are able to find types that suit their lifestyles. If you’re interested in taking yoga classes, discuss your symptoms and level of fitness with your doctor to find a restorative yoga instructor who is right for you.
When to consider surgery
Conventional and alternative nonsurgical treatments can often relieve or lessen symptoms of degenerative spine conditions enough to resume normal everyday activities. However, many patients don’t experience relief from their pain and discomfort even after weeks and months of treatment.
If you are considering surgery but have concerns about undergoing an invasive traditional open spine procedure, reach out to Laser Spine Institute. Our minimally invasive spine surgery offers an outpatient procedure, less risk of complication and a shorter recovery time compared to traditional open neck or back surgery.^
To learn more, contact our dedicated team of Spine Care Consultants to receive a no-cost MRI review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.