Degenerative disc disease can impact your daily life and make it difficult to complete simple tasks. If you have the condition, there are several surgical and non-surgical options available to you for treatment. Before making a decision on which is best for your situation, it is important to fully understand all of your options.
Non-surgical treatments focus on alleviating the pain and not necessarily reversing the condition. There are several non-surgical options available, including cognitive therapy. Cognitive therapy involves helping you recognize what triggers the pain and steps you can do to avoid it. For instance, if you notice an increase in pain when you are stressed, you can learn which relaxation techniques help to reduce stress, such as meditation.
Another non-surgical option is chiropractic manipulation. During sessions with a chiropractor, he or she will focus on alleviating the pressure on back tissue that sometimes occurs in degenerative disc disease. The chiropractor also focuses on improving your range of motion and blood circulation. Increased blood circulation and physical activity can encourage the release of endorphins. Endorphins are natural pain relievers that can help ease your back pain.
Wearing a back brace can also be helpful in helping to limit movement if you experience more pain whenever you move. A back brace is considered to be a short-term solution. While wearing the brace, your lower back is immobilized until pain subsides.
In the event the non-surgical treatments fail, surgery is a possibility. Your doctor will assess your condition and decide if and when you need to start considering this option. There are several surgical options that are available.
Decompression surgery is an option if you have a build up of pressure against your spinal cord that is contributing to your condition. During the surgery, the doctor will focus on removing some of the plates of soft tissue that are against your spinal cord.
Stabilization surgery is possible if you experience most of the pain when you move. During the surgery, the doctor will use rods and screws to secure the spine. Two vertebrae are fused together and this helps to ease the pain you feel.
There are several other options your doctor can explore with you. It is possible that the doctor will recommend a combination of treatments to help you find the right ones that work for you. While assessing the treatments, it is important to communicate with professionals at pain treatment centers so that he or she can make appropriate adjustments to the treatments.