Degenerative disc disease is chronic and irreversible. If you suffer from this condition you may experience back pain for a few weeks or over months, depending on the severity and your level of activity. In most cases, if you follow a treatment regime, the prognosis is good. Here is a rundown on four popular treatments for this condition.
1. Exercise and Physical Therapy
If you are experiencing pain from lumbar degenerative disc disease, exercise and physical therapy are an essential part of treatment. Back strengthening programs will help you maintain a healthy posture as well as strengthening your core. Hamstring stretches will keep these muscles flexible and prevent tautness in the hamstrings from increasing back pain. Low-impact exercise such as swimming or walking will help enhance the flow of oxygen, blood and nutrients to the spine to promote healing.
2. Heat and Ice Therapy
Alternating between hot and cold ice packs when the muscles and joints get stiff can help to maintain flexibility. This can also increase range of motion and ease soreness.
If you experiencing pain due to your degenerative disc disease, your physician may recommend non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, such as naproxen or ibuprofen in combination with pain medications, such as acetaminophen. If your pain is severe and debilitating, your doctor may prescribe stronger medications, such as muscle relaxants, oral steroids or a narcotic pain medication on a short-term basis.
4. Spinal Surgery
If you are unable to find relief through any of the above methods, your doctor may recommend spinal surgery. As well as alleviating pain and improving your general quality of life, spine surgery may also strengthen your spine. The two main types of spine surgery are lumbar fusion and artificial disc replacement surgery.
Contact our medical experts at Atlanta Spine Specialists to find out more about our state of the art facilities and treatment options. Our medical team specializes in diagnosis and treatment of back pain, spinal curvatures, and degenerative disc disease. We also provide minimally invasive non-surgical treatments so you can continue your daily activities during recovery.