Degenerative disc disease treatment can include exercise, medication, and physiotherapy. Degenerative disc disease is an age-related condition in which one or more of the discs between the vertebrae of the spinal column breaks down or deteriorates, leading to pain. It is typically managed through the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants, and the controversial epidural steroid injection. Degenerative disc disease treatment requires multiple treatments from one month, several months to years. Although these initial treatments can relieve symptoms and pain, the treatment is useful only if it can be maintained for a long time.
Degenerative disc disease treatment has also been found to be extremely painful for some patients. Degenerative disc disease (DDD) is a condition in which the spine's intervertebral discs are losing their firmness and inner protective coating due to age-related wear and tear. The spine has four discs, also known as intervertebral discs, which are connected and to the bones of the skull. These discs are made up of collagen and fluid that cushion and protect the spinal bones and discs from stress and pressure. DDD may lead to bulges, cause pain and stiffness, and compression of the spinal nerves that can cause tingling and numbness.
As the spine ages, the protective layer of collagen and intervertebral fluid starts to thin out. However, DDD cannot happen to a vertebra until the discs become misaligned or displaced, causing an abnormal curve in the spine. This results in a loss of stability in the spinal column and an increase in the pressures within the spine. This can force the discs out of position, allowing fluid and collagen to squeeze out and create bulges and spinal deformation that cause pain and discomfort. Once these discs are displaced, they can shift and become entrapped in the spinal column, increasing the pressure even more.
Chiropractors treat conditions related to the body's structure, and thus, are recommended for degenerative disc disease treatment. Their specialty is treating spinal problems and help relieve pressure on the spine, increase the mobility of the spine, and provide support to the surrounding muscles and tissue. Many chiropractors recommend physical therapy and stretching techniques to help patients achieve full mobility. They may also prescribe medications for some patients, depending on the severity of their pain. Many chiropractors use spinal manipulation, stretching, and other conservative treatments along with their conservative methods of treatment to help control chronic herniated disc pain.
Degenerative disc disease treatment also includes physical therapy to help patients learn how to prevent the herniated disc from recurring, improve strength and flexibility in surrounding muscles, and increase mobility in and around the spine. If conservative treatment does not help control pain, or if the pain just gets worse, chiropractic care may be considered by the patient. A chiropractor can examine the patient and determine the best course of treatment. This disease is diagnosed with physical examination, through X-rays or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). DDD is most commonly seen in the geriatric population and has caused low back pain and neck pain in adults. Treatment may include physical therapy, occupational therapy, or both, special exercises, losing weight, medications, and surgery.