Degenerative Disc Disease Explained
With the wisdom and experience of age also come the bumps and bruises earned along the way. Quite literally, something like degenerative disc disease occurs over time and as a result of your body simply wearing down. But all hope is not lost; it is possible to have a healthful and wholesome life despite degenerative disc disease.
Degenerative disc disease explained – If the discs in your spine act as cushions between vertebrae, then degeneration leads to those same discs, or cushions, wearing away. This process results in less space between vertebrae and leads to pain for you in the affected regions of the spine. Most patients with this condition are past the age of 30. This is simply because the body loses water over time, and with less water, comes less flexibility for the discs. Symptoms of degenerative disc disease are typically similar to those of other spinal conditions, so an evaluation with X-rays is often recommended. Persistent pain, tingling, and/or numbness are all indicators that you should seek treatment.
Manage it – A physician’s guidance can be invaluable when finding ways to manage your pain. They can recommend certain exercises that will strengthen your back and take unnecessary pressure off the spine. Working with a physical therapist can be helpful as they can teach you exercises to improve your spinal flexibility and mobility. These exercises are also designed to promote blood flow to the injured area. While it may seem counterintuitive to move when you’re experiencing pain, motion is exactly what your body needs to combat the symptoms of degenerative disc disease.
Staying active – No one can stop the process of aging, but you can work hard to keep the signs of it at bay. In the case of degenerative disc disease, a consistent exercise routine is highly recommended by doctors. You might not realize it, but exercise promotes healing and the delivery of healthy nutrients to injured areas. For those with degenerative disc disease, low impact, aerobic exercise is ideal; this includes biking, swimming, walking, or using an elliptical machine. Doctors also recommend yoga for the benefit of flexibility, as well as strengthening exercises done on an exercise ball.
When your pain is unresponsive to treatment, surgery might be a recommended option. Laser Spine Institute offers initial consultations for patients with degenerating discs. The minimally invasive procedures performed have shorter recovery times because they are less invasive and do less damage to the surrounding tissues. Contact Laser Spine Institute today for more information.