You Have Options for Degenerative Disc Pain
Pain from degenerative disc disease can be debilitating, but you have options.
At JC Rejuvenation & Wellness, our physicians aim to guide you to the most successful pain reducing strategy as possible. Here are several treatment options and ways to think about managing your degenerative disc disease. We offer most if not all of these viable options as part of our comprehensive approach to whole healing.
Exercise relieves pain
Most people don't associate exercise with pain relief, but when it comes to degenerative disc disease, exercise is an elixir of sorts. It spurs blood flow and builds the supporting structures around the affected disc so that the impact of degeneration is lessened.
Of course, if you're in pain, it's hard to start exercising in the first place. Before you begin, it's important to find a way to bring your pain levels down at least enough to get started with some exercise.
People who can achieve this balance—keeping their pain to a manageable level so they can commit to an effective exercise and stretching routine—will often find that they can manage their pain well enough, continue to enjoy most everyday activities, and avoid a fusion or other type of major surgery.
Something as simple as applying an ice pack regularly can reduce pain from DDD.
Control your pain
Many people with disc degeneration need to both control pain and reduce the inflammation around the affected disc. Inflammation often contributes to pain, so it is important to try to keep inflammation to a minimal level.
- Sometimes, simply applying ice or a cold pack to your area(s) of pain on a regular basis can help bring it down.
- Additionally, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) such as Aleve or Advil, when coupled with a pain reliever such as Tylenol, can provide significant relief.
- If pain persists, stronger prescription medications may be considered. Just be sure about appropriate dosage and possible side effects before you start taking any medicine.
- Comprehensive patient-centered chiropractic manual therapies and functional rehabilitation has been shown to bring pain levels down to similar if not identical levels to post-surgical outcomes for most if not all spinal-related conditions. Consider seeing Dr. Jeffrey Witek at JC Rejuvenation & Wellness for an individualized and customized treatment plan using the most current up-to-date conservative natural options to get you out of pain and functioning as close to normal as possible.
- Active Release Techniques Soft Tissue Management. Or ART is a treatment that comprehensively treats the large and small soft tissues of the body helping relieve the pain brought on by dysfunctional joints. Combined with corrective exercise, this is an excellent treatment option to get the body to heal as quickly and effectively as possible.
Once your pain is relieved, you can begin to...
Improving muscle support through strength and resistance exercises, plus maintaining heart health and a healthy weight through cardio exercise, are all components of a pain relief plan.
Remaining flexible through stretching, particularly for the hamstring muscles and hip flexors, will also help.
Make everyday lifestyle changes
While it may seem obvious, subtle everyday changes can add up to significant pain relief for those with degenerated discs, and cost little in terms of time or money.
Modify activities that hurt the back.
It may be hard to give up the intensity of the Saturday basketball game or scale back on golf, but doing so will minimize twisting the back. The same goes for lifting large or heavy objects.
In general, avoid or minimize any activities that make your back feel worse.
Support your back throughout the day.
In the past few years, many companies have designed ergonomic chairs that are more supportive of your lower back. In addition, many people find it helpful to work at a standup desk for at least part of the day.
Changing how you sleep, using different pillows, and/or considering a new mattress can help provide better spinal alignment and support throughout the night. Adjustable beds are no longer just for the hospital—if you find that you're most comfortable in a recliner, then consider sleeping in a semi-upright position with an adjustable bed, or simply by adding a foam-wedge pillow to your regular bed.
A key question to ask yourself (expect your chiropractic physician or family doctor to ask you too) is: are you making significant concessions in how you do—or whether you do—everyday activities because of your pain?
- Are you able to complete the everyday tasks that you need to, such as shopping for groceries and putting them away, picking up children, driving, or sitting at work?
- Can you sleep at night? Pain that is bad enough to disrupt your sleep can also be an indicator that it may be time to consider surgery.
Not being able to engage in everyday activities may mean that it's time to consider discussing your options with a qualified chiropractic physician.
And one final point: don't stop looking for the treatment that works for you. We hear from people in our community every day who had to try several different treatments before they found the one at our office—or the combination of treatments we offer—that worked best for them.
We offer the most comprehensive approach that's backed by research and science putting you the patient first, it's time to start getting results so you can get your life back! Call us at (630) 289-1181 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Witek today!