Degenerative Disc Disease Treatment
As we age, our intervertebral discs lose water content and become less flexible. This deterioration of the intervertebral discs is sometimes called degenerative disc disease. Treatment for degenerating discs often involves non-invasive methods but some patients may require surgery. Degenerative disc disease is not a medical condition in and of itself, but age-related disc degeneration can cause a number of spinal conditions, including herniated discs, bulging discs, collapsed discs, spinal stenosis, bone spurs, and others.
Symptoms and Treatment Options
Conservative, non-surgical techniques for treating degenerative disc disease may include the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), pain medication, physical therapy, and the application of hot and/or cold compresses. These methods are often effective at easing the symptoms of degenerative disc disease, which can include:
- Muscle weakness
- Muscle cramping
- Muscle spasms
The location of these symptoms may vary depending on the location of the affected disc.
While surgery for most spinal conditions is elective, degenerative disc disease surgery may be recommended for patients who have chronic pain that inhibits their ability to perform daily tasks. During open spine operations, bone and other tissue is removed to reach the affected disc(s), and then disc material is typically removed, also. Then, adjacent vertebrae are permanently fused together. Patients who undergo these operations are often faced with lengthy recovery times and have a high risk for developing failed back surgery syndrome and hardware rejection.
As an alternative, patients may want to consider the minimally invasive procedures offered by Laser Spine Institute. We have helped tens of thousands of patients find relief from neck and back pain. Contact Laser Spine Institute Scottsdale for more information on how we’ve helped individuals in Tempe, Phoenix, Mesa, and throughout the world.