Degenerative Disc Disease
Live your life in abundance and freely apart from your degenerative disc disease with our regenerative care options.
If you had the option to forgo invasive surgery for degenerative disc disease, would you choose the alternative? Many times, the first resort for people with disc injuries is the surgery route because that is what is recommended in traditional medicine. But, at Select Health of the Twin Cities, we offer the alternative in all-natural and impressive spinal disc care.
We want to offer a solution to the painful and disruptive effects of degenerative disc disease that allows patients an alternative, non-invasive approach to healing.
Degenerative Disc Disease: What is it?
The function of your spinal discs is small, fluid-filled shock absorbers to your spinal vertebrae — they are what keep you flexible and nimble while bending, stretching, and lifting. As you get older, the discs begin to dry out and land wear and tear, and are slowly broken down, thus they are not as effective.
Disc degradation is a common and normal part of the aging process, however, chronic pain should not be an issue. If you live in chronic pain, you may have degenerative disc disease.
What is the cause of degenerative disc disease?
Aging is the biggest cause of degenerative disc disease because it is just natural for the discs to change over time. These changes manifest in ways such as:
- Lose hydration – It is common for your discs to dry out and lose water as you age. When you are born, your discs are nicely lubricated and hydrated ready to take on movement, but as you get older and move more, your discs lose that precious lubrication and become much flatter and thinner. With less cushion, you may begin to feel pain.
- Tears – Because we are mobile creatures and are days are unique in the ways we bend, twist, and move, over time, our discs have small tears in their exterior which have nerves. The tears irritate the nerves and it becomes more and more painful.
- Disc degeneration may also occur as a result of inflammation in the area that causes swelling surrounding the structures. Inflammation can become a real issue because it can also incite muscle spasms, muscle tension, and muscle soreness.
What does degenerative disc disease feel like?
If you have degenerative disc disease, you likely will feel a perpetual pain in your neck or back. And while the pain you experience will depend on the area of the weakened disc or discs, typical signs include:
- Pain in your buttocks, upper thighs, and lower back
- The pain comes in waves, from dull to severe
- The pain feels worse when you sit, but better when you’re active
- The pain intensifies when you twist, bend, or lift
- The pain decreases with the changing of positions or lying down
How is degenerative disc disease diagnosed?
Your health care professional will give an extensive medical intake that asks you questions related to your pain — where it is, where it occurs, and its severity. They may also go over your lifestyle habits including diet, activity, sleep patterns, and any movements that make the pain better or worse.
After the initial intake, you will receive a physical exam where the professional will feel around your spine, and give a series of tests that measure your mobility and reflexes.
If it is unclear whether you have a disc issue, further diagnostics will be ordered which usually include an MRI scan. An MRI can provide clear images of tears and dehydration.
Degenerative Disc Disease Prevention
Because aging is a big component of this disc concern, it is inevitable just as wrinkles and bone loss is a part of it! There are ways to prolong it from surfacing such as:
- Avoiding excess alcohol and nicotine consumption
- Staying hydrated
- Staying active and moving every 20 to 30 minutes if you sit at a desk
- Maintaining proper posture
When Surgery is Proposed
Perhaps you came to us for a second opinion because it is not uncommon for doctors to recommend surgery as the first and only option — this is not the case. We effectively treat degenerative disc degeneration through all-natural methods sans surgery, so you can avoid a long recovery period and get back sooner to doing the things you love.