Degenerative Disc Disease Treatment will be necessary for you if your spinal discs start to wear out. This degeneration is usually part of the condition called Osteoarthritis. One of the places osteoarthritis commonly strikes is in the spine. It is more common in the elderly but can happen in young people who have had trauma or injuries to their spine.

As you get older, your spinal discs start to lose the water content they once had which causes them to dry out. As your discs get dryer they become more likely to degenerate. This can lead to a lot of pain.

It is very important for you to do as many of the things that slow down this process as you can.

Conservative Degenerative Disc Disease Treatment

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The most important thing you can do is keep your spine as flexible as possible. This is because your spinal discs don’t have a very good blood supply which normally brings oxygen and nutrients to your body tissues.

Your discs depend on the movement of your spine to get nutrients into them. If your spine gets stiff your discs will wear out earlier than they should. Whatever age this happens at, you will need degenerative disc disease treatment.

This is one of the reasons a lot of people go to chiropractors on a regular basis. Chiropractic Adjustments are not just for pain relief, but to keep their spines flexible. This will prevent disc degeneration and nerve irritation.

Another great way to keep your spine flexible is to do gentle trunk twists every day for a minute or two.

I walk each day with my wife. At the end of every walk I do a minute of trunk twisting. It stretches the muscles, ligaments, and joints in my back, and just feels great!

Really, any activity that moves your body will help keep your back flexible. Things such as gardening, housework, walking, jogging, raking leaves, shoveling snow, golf, tennis, bowling and any vigorous physical activity, will help to keep your spine strong and flexible.

Doing as much as you can for as long as you can will go a long way toward preventing your ever needing degenerative disc disease treatment.

All of the therapies listed below can be effective degenerative disc disease treatment.

Aerobic Exercise: Aerobic Exercise may not be thought of as a degenerative disc disease treatment, but it reduces back pain by improving circulation and increasing oxygen transport. Improved circulation is needed for injured tissues to heal. Aerobic exercise also tones muscles throughout the body, and improves mental health by reducing stress. This is important for someone trying to heal from a painful back condition.

Improving Your Posture: Healing from the pain of disc disease starts with your Posture Habits. Bad Posture puts harmful stress on the muscles and joints in your neck, upper, middle, and lower back.

Massage Therapy: Massage is a hands - on treatment for back pain that reduces stress and improves circulation. Massage can be very light stroking and kneading or real deep pressure and trigger point work, depending on the needs and wants of the patient. Massage has been an affective Back Pain Treatment by reducing back pain and relaxing tight muscles.

Stress Management: Stress Management is a degenerative disc disease treatment that has helped many people. It is well known that stress can have a variety of negative effects on your health. Techniques such as breathing exercises, meditation, and guided imagery can help lessen the symptoms of disc degeneration.

Acupuncture: Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese treatment for back pain. Tiny needles are inserted into specific points on the body in order to improve the patient's energy flow. Acupuncture has been affective in acute and chronic pain control.

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Physical Therapy: Physical Therapy is a healthcare specialty that treats disorders of the musculoskeletal system. The main focus is on restoring maximal function to the patient. Physical therapists use a number of treatments including ice, heat, and ultra-sound, as well as stretching and strengthening exercises.

Homeopathy: Homeopathy is an alternative medicine that treats health problems with Homeopathic remedies. Homeopathy has helped relieve Back Pain and the pain associated with arthritis, back stiffness, sprains, and sports injuries.

Naturopathy: Naturopathy is an alternative medical system that emphasizes natural healing methods such as diet and lifestyle, herbs, and nutrition. Studies have found Naturopathy helpful in reducing back pain and improving spinal flexibility.

Hydrotherapy: Hydrotherapy is the generic term for water therapies using jets, underwater massage and mineral baths. The treatments use specific water temperature to stimulate circulation and relieve back pain. Pain from many other musculoskeletal disorders and diseases can also be relieved.

Water Exercise/Aerobics: Water Exercise can benefit people who have difficulty with weight-bearing exercise. The buoyancy and soothing warmth of water make water exercise a non- stressful way to exercise muscles and joints. It can be an excellent way to heal from a back injury.

Herbal Remedies: Herbal Remedies are regularly prescribed by some alternative health care providers. Many herbs like White Willow Bark, Burdock, Horsetail, Slippery Elm, Devil’s Claw, and Capsaicin Cream have been used for relief of back pain.

Stop Doing the Activity that Caused the Pain: Simply not continuing to do what started the pain in the first place is too often overlooked. I have so many patients who started getting pain after an hour of raking leaves, gardening, spring-cleaning, or painting the house—Yet they didn’t stop the activity until they had finished the project, three hours later!

This is CRAZY. So often we make our problems worse because we just don’t listen to our bodies. Remember, Pain Can Be A Good Thing! It is our body’s way of getting our attention. Pain tells us that something is wrong or we’ve pushed too hard.

Rest Your body: Not listening to our bodies is such a common problem today. I need to repeat: one of the most effective Back Pain Treatments is simply to let the body rest when pain tells us we need rest. This doesn’t mean you should stay in bed for a week since bed rest is usually not necessary at all. Spending more than a day or two in bed causes your back to weaken and actually causes more back pain. Rest can be the best Back Pain Treatment.

Non Conservative Degenerative Disc Disease Treatment

Medication: As a nurse, I saw first-hand the results of both over the counter and prescription medications. Aspirin, Tylenol, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can be helpful in certain pain situations. Stronger narcotic pain medications and muscle relaxants have their place in severe back pain episodes. Any medication usage should be closely monitored by your doctor.

Medical Care: If there is ever a concern that back pain is from more than a simple sprain or strain, it is always recommended to see your healthcare provider. If you are treated by an alternative or conservative provider and are not getting the results you expected, you will probably be referred to your General Practitioner, Orthopedist, Neurologist, or Physiatrist.

Spinal Injections: Epidural Steroid Injection is the most common injection for back pain and pain radiating down the leg (sciatica). In a Steroid injection, strong anti-inflammatory medication is injected near the inflamed nerve root. Other types of injections like facet joint injections are sometimes used to treat back pain.

Back Surgery: Surgery is a last resort degenerative disc disease treatment that is sometimes necessary when severe pain is unresponsive to conservative methods. Except for an emergency, surgery should not be considered until conservative measures and medication have been unsuccessful.

To Your Best Health,

Dr. Cliff

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