BPS 24: What are the Treatment Options for Lumbar Degenerative Disc Disease?

Treatment of degenerative disc disease focus on reducing the pain and improving mobility. Degenerative disc disease can be treated with either nonsurgical or surgical methods. Initially, doctors recommend nonsurgical options. However, if the pain does not subside with nonsurgical methods, the doctor suggests surgical treatment of the degenerative disc disease.

In some cases, doctors recommend a combination of nonsurgical methods like medications, physical therapy, and surgical methods. In this article, we will look at some of the common types of nonsurgical lumbar degenerative disc diseases.

1. Prescription or Over-the-counter (OTC) Medications

Individuals generally use OTC medications in order to get relief from pain. They may use medications such as ibuprofen, aspirin, or naproxen. These medications can reduce inflammation that causes nerve root irritation and discomfort. In addition, acetaminophen may be used as a pain reliever in case of lumbar degenerative disc disease.

In case the pain is not relieved with OTC medications, doctors may prescribe narcotic painkillers or muscle relaxants. The medications are common for the treatment of pain that lasts for weeks. However, they are not prescribed for the long term to avoid withdrawal symptoms associated with long-term use of the medication.

2. Manual Manipulation

A popular pain management plan for lumbar degenerative disc disease is manual manipulation. Pressure is applied to the hips, back, and other areas with hands. This results in reduced pain in the joints and muscles.

3. Heat and Ice

Another common nonsurgical treatment option for lumbar degenerative disc treatment is the application of heat and ice. Heat applied to the lower back improves circulation. This leads to reduced muscle tension and improved mobility.

In addition, ice packs can be used to reduce pain and inflammation. The heat and ice can be applied before carrying out activities. It softens the muscles that result in less pain when performing the activity.

4. Massage Therapy

Massage therapy can be recommended to reduce spasms and pain in the lower back. It reduces pressure on the back thereby reducing pain. Message therapy can not only improve circulation but also tense the muscles due to the provision of healing nutrients.

5. Epidural Steroid Injections (ESIs)

Doctors may administer steroids in the area that surrounds the spine. This can lead to reduced inflammation and pain signals. A steroid injection may be used with a physical therapy program. It is generally used during exercise to provide pain relief. The injections can be effective in reducing pain from some weeks to a year.

6. Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is sometimes suggested to treat pain due to lumbar degenerative disc disease. A comprehensive lumbar physical therapy program consists of the following.

  • -Exercise videos for sciatic pain due to lumbar disc degeneration
  • -Exercise videos for degenerative disc diseases
  • -Sciatica Exercises for DDD Video
  • -Exercises for Sciatica from Degenerative Disc Disease Video
  • -Stretching exercise for hips, lower back, and pelvis

In most cases, a combination of the above treatments is used for treating lumbar degrative disc disease. A trial and error process is important to find out the best treatment for the condition.

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Robin BackPainExpert

Physiotherapists & Back Pain Expert

Twenty years ago I was lucky to survive a serious hockey injury. In a sport where big men zoomaround on hard ice and solid wood sticks are slung furiously, a difficult back injury is what every player fears.
It took a long time for me to climb back to a normal life. But when I did, I was determined to spend the rest of his life helping back pain victims everywhere.
As a physiotherapist and back pain expert I have treated thousands of patients over 20 years, built a respected back pain clinic, created the site BackPainSecrets.Com and authored the book “Back Pain Secrets.”
Learn more about me here.