What Treatments Are Available
While disc degeneration cant be reversed, there is evidence that exercise, lifestyle changes and careful management of your back pain can contribute to better quality of life.
If conservative therapies fail to help you manage and control the painful symptoms, your doctor may recommend surgery. However, the long-term effectiveness of surgery for deÂgenerative disc disease as opposed to natural history, conservative treatment, or placebo has yet to be studied.
Nonsurgical treatments Nonsurgical treatment for a degenerative disc may include medication, rest, physical therapy, home exercises, hydrotherapy, chiropractic, and pain management.
Steroid injections. The procedure is done under x-ray guidance and involves an injection of corticosteroid and a numbing agent into the spine. The medicine is delivered right into the painful area to reduce the swelling and inflammation of the nerves. Repeat injections may be given to achieve full effect. Duration of pain relief varies, lasting for weeks or years. Injections are done in conjunction with a physical therapy and/or home exercise program to strengthen the back muscles and prevent future pain episodes. See epidural steroid injections and facet injections.
Holistic therapy. Some patients find acupuncture, acupressure, yoga, nutrition / diet changes, meditation, and biofeedback to be helpful in managing pain as well as improving overall health.
What Are The Risk Factors For Developing Low Back Pain
Anyone can have back pain. Factors that can increase the risk for low back pain include:
Age: The first attack of low back pain typically occurs between the ages of 30 and 50, and back pain becomes more common with advancing age. Loss of bone strength from osteoporosis can lead to fractures, and at the same time, muscle elasticity and tone decrease. The intervertebral discs begin to lose fluid and flexibility with age, which decreases their ability to cushion the vertebrae. The risk of spinal stenosis also increases with age.
Fitness level: Back pain is more common among people who are not physically fit. Weak back and abdominal muscles may not properly support the spine. Weekend warriorspeople who go out and exercise a lot after being inactive all weekare more likely to suffer painful back injuries than people who make moderate physical activity a daily habit. Studies show that low-impact aerobic exercise can help maintain the integrity of intervertebral discs.
Weight gain: Being overweight, obese, or quickly gaining significant amounts of weight can put stress on the back and lead to low back pain.
Genetics: Some causes of back pain, such as ankylosing spondylitis , have a genetic component.
Smoking: It can restrict blood flow and oxygen to the discs, causing them to degenerate faster.
Backpack overload in children: A backpack overloaded with schoolbooks and supplies can strain the back and cause muscle fatigue.
Finding Relief From Ddd
In 99% of patients who have been diagnosed with DDD, and are inquiring about the best way to find relief, we pose a counter question: Find relief from what? There might be pain, but who says it is due to disc degeneration?
DDD is completely normal. DDD is expected. DDD is universal. Yes, of course you saw the obvious degeneration on that x-ray or spinal MRI, because it is truly there. We could have saved you the trouble of getting the imaging test done, since every adult will demonstrate DDD to some degree. Disc deterioration is not anything out of the ordinary for any human to experience. Disc desiccation is a ubiquitous part of life. So, we repeat:
Find relief from what? Your back pain? Your neck pain? Ok, that is a different story. Lets address the relationship between disc disease and the occurrence of back or neck symptoms.
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Signs And Symptoms Of Degenerative Disc Disease
How can you tell if you have degenerative disc disease?
There are a few symptoms you need to look out for. Mostly, youll start to feel pain somewhere in your back, and where you feel the pain in your back will depend on which disc has suffered damage. For example, you could feel pain in your buttocks, upper thighs, lower back or further up even into your neck.
The pain may be sharp, or nagging. Itll come and go, and feel better when you get up and move around. Itll feel worse when youre sitting. Itll also feel worse when you bend and twist.
As well as pain, you may experience numbness and tingling in your arms and legs. Many people worry, thinking degenerative disc disease can cause you to become paralyzed. In rare cases, it can happen. However, most often, degenerative disc disease surgery can be carried out to prevent this, so youll probably never have to deal with paralysis becoming a problem.
Can you die from degenerative disc disease?
Although the diagnosis can sound frightening, you dont need to panic. You certainly cannot die of a degenerative disorder such as this one.
When Should You Not Take Supplement To Strengthen Spine
If you are generally healthy, has an active lifestyle and get enough nutrients from food sources, you may not need supplements.
The amount of nutrient you will need from a supplement is dependent on the amount of nutrition you get from food. As long as you get the daily amount of nutrition recommended from food theres no need to supplement or fill any gap.
It is important to know that taking supplements that you dont need has no added benefits, but may even pose some risks.
Treatments To Help Relieve Your Chronic Pain
- NSPC Team
If you are dealing with pain due to an injury or a disease for over 3 months, you are likely suffering from chronic pain. Chronic pain can interrupt sleep, trigger depression, and isolate you from people and activities.
There are many treatments that can help you regain control over your life. They range from exercise-based home therapies to more advanced treatments offered by a pain specialist. However, good pain relief often requires a combination of several treatments.
Here are 7 popular treatments that can help relieve your chronic pain.
Lumbar Degenerative Disc Disease
This type of degenerative disc disease occurs after a torsional or twisting injury to the lower back however, wear and tear of the discs in the spine also causes the pain.3 Symptoms of lumbar degenerative disc disease are pain in the lower back sometimes radiating to the hips and legs. Pain that is worse when sitting than standing, walking or even lying down and pain that is exacerbated by movements such as bending, twisting or lifting.
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What Is Degenerative Disk Disease
Your spine is made up of 33 vertebrae that are stacked on top of one another. Between each of these vertebrae is a rubbery piece of cartilage called an “intervertebral disk.” Imagine the disk as a tire, with gelatin filling the hole in the tire. The tire is called the “annulus,” and the gelatin is called the “nucleus.”
When we’re youngunder 30 years of agethe disk is made mostly of gelatin. As we age, and sometimes with injury, we start to lose some of that gelatin and the volume of the disk decreases, resulting in less space between the vertebrae. The disk becomes flatter and less flexible, leaving less space between each set of vertebrae. Sometimes bone spurs form in response to this degeneration of the disk, which could make the spine stiff. Often, this flattening and additional stiffness to the spine is not at all painful. However, in some cases, when the rough surfaces of the vertebral joints rub together, pain and inflammation may result. The nerve root, the point where a spinal nerve exits the spine and extends to other parts of the body, may become irritated or compressed.
Disk degeneration may occur throughout several regions of the spine, or it may be limited to 1 disk. Degeneration does not always lead to pain. For some people, however, it can cause a great deal of pain and disability.
You are more likely to develop DDD if you:
Can I Treat Degenerative Disc Disease At Home
Some people find pain relief through at-home remedies. At-home treatments may decrease pain for a short time. But they are not a long-term treatment for severely degenerated discs. You may try:
- Exercise: Low-impact activity such as walking or swimming can strengthen back muscles and relieve some pain.
- Hot and cold therapy: Alternating ice packs and heating pads every 10 to 15 minutes up to three to four times per day may reduce soreness and inflammation.
- Stretching: Gentle yoga and stretching throughout the day may improve posture and relieve tension.
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Complementary And Alternative Techniques Include:
- Acupuncture is moderately effective for chronic low back pain. It involves inserting thin needles into precise points throughout the body and stimulating them , which may cause the body to release naturally occurring painkilling chemicals such as endorphins, serotonin, and acetylcholine.
- Behavioral approaches include:
- Biofeedback involves attaching electrodes to the skin and using an electromyography machine that allows people to become aware of and control their breathing, muscle tension, heart rate, and skin temperature people regulate their response to pain by using relaxation techniques
- Cognitive therapy involves using relaxation and coping techniques to ease back pain
Spinal injections include:Trigger point injections can relax knotted muscles that may contribute to back pain. An injection or series of injections of a local anesthetic and often a corticosteroid drug into the trigger point can lessen or relieve pain.
What Can Be Done About It
Generally this arthritis of the spine does not hurt or cause symptoms and nothing has to be done. If it does cause symptoms, then treatment depends upon the severity of the symptoms. If the symptoms are only stiffness and soreness, they are treated with heat or ice and a gentle stretching program of the neck. If the pain is not relieved, then medication can help relieve the symptoms until the pain subsides.
There are two types of medicine to start with. The first is acetaminophen, which will help with the discomfort. Arthritis medicines, such as aspirin or aspirin-like medicines , can also be taken. If taking the medicine once or twice a day works, then that is all that is needed. If the pain is more severe, then these medicines should be taken according to the instructions on the bottle. If that does not work, you should contact your doctor for an evaluation and a prescription for stronger medicine.
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Low Back Pain Fact Sheet
If you have had lower back pain, you are not alone. Back pain is one of most common reasons people see a doctor or miss days at work. Even school-age children can have back pain.
Back pain can range in intensity from a dull, constant ache to a sudden, sharp or shooting pain. It can begin suddenly as a result of an accident or by lifting something heavy, or it can develop over time as we age. Getting too little exercise followed by a strenuous workout also can cause back pain.
There are two types of back pain:
- Acute, or short-term back pain lasts a few days to a few weeks. Most low back pain is acute. It tends to resolve on its own within a few days with self-care and there is no residual loss of function. In some cases a few months are required for the symptoms to disappear.
- Chronic back pain is defined as pain that continues for 12 weeks or longer, even after an initial injury or underlying cause of acute low back pain has been treated. About 20 percent of people affected by acute low back pain develop chronic low back pain with persistent symptoms at one year. Even if pain persists, it does not always mean there is a medically serious underlying cause or one that can be easily identified and treated. In some cases, treatment successfully relieves chronic low back pain, but in other cases pain continues despite medical and surgical treatment.
With Degenerative Disc Disease You May Notice Pain Patterns Such As:
- More pain when sitting for a long time, bending, lifting, or twisting
- Less pain when walking or running
- Less pain if you change positions frequently
- Less pain when you lie down
It’s important to treat your back and neck pain properly. Seek medical attention if your pain persistsand seek immediate attention if you have any of the emergency signs listed below.
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Treatment Plan Example: Beyond Six Weeks
If the symptoms of degenerative disc disease and low back pain persist despite non-operative treatment, further diagnostic tests may be necessary. These tests may include an MRI, CT Scan, myelogram, or possibly discography.
Although most degenerative disc disease patients with herniation respond well to non-surgical treatment, a small percentage do not. Disc herniation is the most common indication for spinal surgery. In fact, 75% of all spinal surgeries are for a herniated disc.
How To Use Cbd For Chronic Back Pain
The CBD oil serves as a useful natural alternative for the management of pain.
It aids in relieving pain associated with various disorders such as fibromyalgia, diabetic neuropathy, and other conditions where conventional pharmaceutical medicines are not sufficient.
There are many ways to consume CBD for Chronic back pain. It could be taken orally in the form of capsules or mixed with food and drinks. It can also be taken in the form of oils and tinctures or could be applied to the skin topically, which helps to relieve pain that is more targeted.
The best way of administration for pain, however, is to spray the product onto the sublingual glands in the mouth .
This is because oral administration provides only 6-15% bioavailability, while sublingual use can provide as much as 35-40% bioavailability, due to which oral methods tend to be the least cost-effective, as much more product is required to get the same results.
Another important point to note in CBD administration is that the user has to wait for the CBD to absorb into the bloodstream before swallowing it immediately.
Regarding this, a user on Reddit suggested Many people make one common mistake I see all the time: only keeping it under the tongue for 30 to 90 seconds. You need to leave it there for at least 5 minutes to get optimum bioavailability.
The use of CBD oil increases the quality of life and allows you to rest pain-free.
Other uses of CBD oil include:
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Newest Treatment Options For Degenerative Disc Disease Sufferers
Lower back pain is the second most common complaint made by patients to their primary care doctors. In fact, its estimated that 331 million Americans suffer from lower back pain each year, and 50% of adults will experience at least one day of back pain every year. There are many reasons for why we experience lower back pain however, degeneration of the discs in the spine is the single most common pain generator for pain in our lower back.
Our intervertebral disc sits between two vertebrae, and essentially are the shock absorbers for our spines. Discs provide structural support for the spine and allow the spine and body to move properly. Each disc has a thick fibrous outer layer called the annulus fibrosis as well as a fluid center called the nucleus pulposus. Think of the intervertebral disc like a jelly doughnut: the nucleus pulposus is the jelly and the annulus fibrosis is the doughy crust. The disc goes through normal wear and tear as we age. However, if excess pressure is applied to the disc or if it experiences a traumatic event, those things could accelerate the degenerative process and change the discs normal composition this can result in chronic lower back pain, stiffness, and loss of function.
Unfortunately, treatments for disc pain are limited to anti-inflammatory medication, physical therapy, therapeutic injections, and surgery. Many times, the conservative treatments fail and that results in chronic lower back pain.
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User Reviews Regarding The Use Of Cbd For Chronic Back Pain
When asked about the use of CBD for chronic back pain, many users on the social forum, Reddit, had positive comments about the substance. Users expressed that CBD had proven as a very effective remedy to cure back pain, something that even medicines had failed to accomplish.
A user commented I have a great deal of back pain. Mine is a degree 10 with no medications that help. I do use a long-term, low dose opioid & it doesnt take pain below a 6-7. I started on CBD tincture, 75mg a day, & I made an e-juice with isolate & it helps greatly if I do it all day. Pain is bearable then.
Another user stated I had nagging lower back pain for several months. After using CBD consistently , I began to feel less discomfort and started exercising more vigorously. Within a week, my lower back pain was COMPLETELY gone. Zero pain, zilch. Im a new man.
Users also suggested that Full spectrum CBD worked better for pain management compared to CBD isolate products. This is because the different Cannabinoids found in full spectrum CBD work synergistically to produce the entourage effect, which can deliver better properties.
When asked about dosage and consumption, many users expressed that they preferred sub-lingual sprays over topical creams, as they were more effective and efficient.
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