Monday, 8 January 2018

Effective Treatments For Degenerative Disc Disease + Diagnosis

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The diagnosis of degenerative disc disease begins with a physical examination of the body, with special attention paid to the back and lower extremities.
Your doctor will examine your back for flexibility, range of motion, and the presence of certain signs that suggest that your nerve roots are being affected by degenerative changes in your back. This often involves testing the strength of your muscles and your reflexes to make sure that they are still working normally.
You will often be asked to fill out a diagram that asks you where your symptoms of pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness are occurring. X-rays or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be ordered.
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Along with following doctor’s instructions, getting the proper amount of physical activity, and strengthening the muscles that support the spine, you can manage your condition in additional ways. Make lifestyle choices, such as eating a nutritious diet, stopping smoking and address both the physical and emotional effects of having a musculoskeletal condition. Self-management encompasses the choices made each day to live well and stay healthy. If you have degenerative disc disease (DDD), you know the all-too familiar feeling: Back pain or neck pain when you sit or stand for long periods of time. But what can you do to help manage the pain? You're in luck—there are multiple treatment options for DDD. Your treatment plan will most likely include a combination of treatments, such as exercise, physical therapy, and medications.

Treatments

  • Stabilization surgery or spinal fusion : two vertebrae are fused together, to provide stability for the spine. This can be done anywhere in the spine but is more common in the lower back and the neck area. These are the most movable parts of the spine. This can relieve extreme pain in patients whose spine can no longer bear their weight, but it can also speed up the degeneration of the discs next to the fused vertebrae.
  • Decompression surgery: Various options to remove part of the joint of the disc can relieve the pressure on the nerves.

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A patient who develops osteoarthritis, a herniated disc or spinal stenosis may need other types of treatment. Treatment options to go along with physical activity and exercises to increase back strength include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Medications: nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (ibuprofen, naproxen sodium), pain relievers (acetaminophen)
  • Heat and cold therapy
  • Spinal mobilization

If you develop health problems such as
osteoarthritis, a herniated disc, or spinal stenosis, you may need other treatments. These include physical therapy and exercises for strengthening and stretching the back. In some cases, surgery may be recommended. Surgery usually involves removing the damaged disc. In some cases, the bone is then permanently joined (fused) to protect the spinal cord. In rare cases, an artificial disc may be used to replace the disc that is removed.



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Author: Richard Smith