Have you been constantly experiencing lower back or neck pain that won’t go away? Especially if you’re a bit advanced in age, Degenerative Disc Disease could be a possible cause of such pains. Below, is some helpful information about DDD and with the commonly available treatment options, you may want to know of.
Degenerative Disc Disease: What is it?
Degenerative Disc Disease, often abbreviated as DDD is a term used to describe some changes that occur in your spinal discs as you age. Spinal discs are the compressible, soft discs are located in between the vertebral column bones referred to as spinal vertebrae. The discs play quite an important role as shock absorbers that allow flexibility of the spine as it flexes, bends, or twists. In most cases, Degenerative Disc Disease affects the lower back and neck regions of the spine, or the lumbar and cervical regions respectively, even though it can occur literally at any portion of the spine.
Common DDD Symptoms and Risks
Back pain and neck pain are the two most common symptoms associated with degenerative disc disease, whose major cause is inflammation and micromotion instability of the spine. The pain may range from mild to severe and can become chronic. However, there is also a possibility that having the condition could result in or worsen other spinal conditions such as spinal stenosis, spinal osteoarthritis, spondylolisthesis, and herniated disc.
Degenerative Disease Treatment Approaches
There are several treatment approaches for degenerative disease. Depending on where you seek medical advice from, treatment mostly involves pain control, physical therapy exercises, and lifestyle modification. Sometimes a surgical approach may be needed.
- Pain Control: Pain control may include the use of both medication and physical therapy to relieve pain. Commonly used medications used in DDD treatment include NSAIDS, muscle relaxants, and antidepressants.
- Exercise: Exercise is also a highly important in the DDD treatment plan as it helps enhance the process of healing and reduces pain in the affected part. However, some forms of exercise may only make the situation worse. It is, therefore, important that you seek a highly-trained health professional such as a chiropractor or physical therapist for assistance.
- Lifestyle Modifications: Lifestyle changes such as quitting nicotine, avoiding too much of strenuous activities, and maintaining back proper posture can also be helpful in addressing your condition.
- Surgical Treatment of DDD: You may need to go for spinal surgery in cases where non-surgical treatment approaches have not succeeded in reducing your pain and other DDD symptoms.
Alternative Treatment Approaches
Some of the most common DDD alternative treatment options include acupuncture, the use of herbal remedies, and biofeedback. Although mentioned above, chiropractic care procedures such as spinal manipulation also fall under the alternative treatment category.