Effective treatment for degenerative disc disease

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Effective treatment for degenerative disc disease
(Augusta Orthopedic Surgery)

Between the vertebrae of the spine sit discs that act as cushions and shock absorbers. They help the back stay flexible and keep a full range of motion. Since the body supplies little blood to the discs, the discs cannot heal themselves when injured. As a result, degeneration of the spine can occur over twenty to thirty years with a single injury to one disc. Degeneration can cause acute pain, difficulty moving and unstable vertebrae. Because the discs cannot repair themselves, treatment options are pretty much in place to help relieve pain and not to help correct the problem.

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Pain Medication

Medications--ranging from over-the-counter to prescription drugs--can alleviate the pain. Typical medications suggested or prescribed include acetaminophen, ibuprofen, oral steroids, narcotics (such as vicodin or hydrocodone), and muscle relaxants.

Massage Therapy

Therapeutic massage to the affected area of the back can help reduce stiff muscles and improve blood flow. That can increase flexibility and range of motion.

Chiropractice Manipulation

Chiropractors can manually manipulate the back to help remove pressure from impinged nerves and release endorphins that often act as natural pain killers. Manipulation, like massage therapy, can reduce muscle tension and stiffness and increase blood flow. That will also increase range of motion.

Epidural Injections

An epidural injection directly into the spine administers steroids to relieve low back pain by reducing inflammation in the affected area.

Electrical Stimulation

Devices called TENS units administer mild electrical stimulation to block the pain signals travelling down nerves to the lower back.


Ultrasound applications warm the affected area to increase blood flow to help reduce inflammation and increase range of motion.

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