Degenerative Disc Disease: What to Expect From Your Treatment Plan

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Degenerative disc disease can cause back and neck pain every time you sit or stand for prolonged periods. It occurs when the spinal discs wear down. These discs absorb shocks and help you move, twist, and bend comfortably. Over time, these discs degenerate because of aging. If the shock absorbers wear away, your bones can begin to rub together, causing pain and other issues like herniated disc, adult scoliosis, and spinal stenosis. Thankfully, there are ways to manage degenerative disc in Shrewsbury. Your treatment plan may include a combination of exercise, medications, and physical therapy. 

Symptoms of Degenerative Disc Disease

A lot of people who have deterioration do not experience pain while others may experience intense pain that interferes with their everyday activities. Usually, burning pain or pressure starts in the lower back and the leg or buttock. Also, you may feel tingling or numbness in the leg and foot. 

In addition, you may experience chronic underlying pain and intense muscle pain. Often, you will feel the most pain when you sit since your discs get more weight on them in this position. Activities like bending or twisting often make the pain worse. And your pain may be relieved when you lie down. 

When to See a Doctor

Disc generation can lead to mild, irritating, or debilitating pain. Although chronic pain and disability can happen sometimes, it is rare. If you are suffering from any symptoms of degenerative disc disease for a while now or experience persistent back and neck pain that flares up into a serious one, you may need to schedule a visit with a spine specialist. When you suddenly lose bladder and bowel control, this could mean your nerves have been extensively damaged. In this case, you must seek immediate medical attention. 

Treatment for Degenerative Disc Disease

Your doctor will follow a symptom-based treatment that highlights pain management and reduction to improve your quality of life. Before your doctor considers whether you need surgical intervention, they will follow a conservative symptom treatment method that includes the following:

  • Medication- You may need to take prescription or over-the-counter medications like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants, and opioid pain relievers. 
  • Therapeutic injections- These include nerve block injections, epidural corticosteroid injections, and trigger point injections. 
  • Physical therapy- Your treatment plan may include physical therapy and exercise such as taking a walk and doing some gentle stretches. 
  • Radiofrequency neurotomy- This involves the use of electric currents for burning sensory nerves and ensuring pain signals do not reach the brain. 
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