Degenerative disc disease treatment is a huge and diverse focus within the dorsalgia care sector. DDD is one of the most commonly diagnosed causes of back pain, since it is almost a universal human phenomenon. Ironically, degenerative disc disease is actually rarely to blame for creating the plethora of symptomatic expressions often suspected of it and is almost without exception a benign part of the spinal aging process. Do not be surprised if you are diagnosed with DDD, but do doubt it as the actual source of your pain, unless a pathological component can be definitely identified.
This patient guide explains many of the most commonly utilized therapies for spinal disc deterioration in the vertebral column.
Most patients who are diagnosed with degenerated discs do not require any treatment. Many are suffering from back ache, although this pain is seldom sourced by the normal disc deterioration. Far more common is the incidence of the disc desiccation taking the blame for some other causative source which remains unidentified. This may be a structural issue located elsewhere in the spinal anatomy or may be a nonstructural process, such as regional ischemia.
The overwhelming number of patients who are diagnosed with DDD should seek out knowledge therapy, since this is the most logical solution to counter the nocebo effect of the diagnostic process and the underlying emotional causations of and contributions to many chronic pain syndromes. However, this advice will not usually be provided by traditional doctors, who make their living by keeping back pain sufferers involved in mostly symptomatic treatment regimens for the long term.
For the very few people who do suffer considerable pain and related neurological symptoms from extreme and unusual disc degeneration, some form of medical therapy may be indicated. Just remember that most treatments are symptomatic modalities and will not cure your painful condition. The only exceptions to this rule are surgery and sometimes, spinal decompression.
Symptomatic treatment is the rule in the back pain industry, especially for relatively new painful complaints. The most common options provided to DDD patients include:
Drugs are the most often utilized form of chronic pain management, regardless of the diagnosis. Drug therapies are dangerous and toxic.
Physical therapy consists of stretches and activity-based disc disease exercises that are recommended to strengthen the muscular anatomy and support the spine. (To what end? ...and who says the muscles are weak and need reinforcement?)
TENS uses electrical current to intercept nerve messages and reduce pain.
Epidural injections are certainly illogically used to treat deteriorated discs, but this does not stop the from being one of the most common of all moderate therapy methods in use today.
None of these practices will change the disc anatomy or reverse the degenerative process. In fact, it is questionable as to what end any of these modalities are trying to achieve.
More permanent methods seeking to cure the underlying source of pain by correcting the degenerated disc structure include the various forms of disc surgery and non-surgical spinal decompression.
Surgery generally takes the form of spinal fusion or artificial disc replacement procedures. It is crucial to know the many and serious risks of surgery before even considering an operation as a potential treatment for even the worst possible cases of DDD.
I receive letters daily from patients who have been diagnosed with degenerative disc disease. It is obvious from the fear and misinformation contained in these letters, that some within the medical professions are doing their very best to take advantage of this totally normal and expected part of getting older.
Disc degeneration is universal. I have it, you have it, your doctor has it. Show me an adult without it and I will show you an anomaly of nature. Do not allow any doctor or care provider to frighten you with a diagnosis of DDD. Even advanced cases, like mine, are mostly harmless. The percentage of patients suffering from actual painful symptoms relating to normal disc deterioration is so low; it is off the scale.
My advice for degenerative disc disease treatment, given the usual mild to moderate forms of disc desiccation, is the following:
Stop calling it a disease.
Tell your doctor that you know you have DDD. It is normal.
Forget about DDD altogether and get on with your life.