Degenerative Disc Disease Treatment

At Coastal Neurosurgery & Spine

While degenerative disc disease can sound like an intimidating diagnosis, it is a misnomer, referring to a fairly common condition. The “disease” is characterized by the natural degeneration of spinal discs over time that causes pain. Depending on each patient and the severity of the degeneration, symptoms can range from minimal pain to intense pain that interferes with daily activity. At Coastal Neurosurgery & Spine, our team of interdisciplinary medical professionals, including spine surgeons, physical therapists, PM&R, and Neurosurgeons, offer integrated treatments for degenerative disc disease. Treatments can range from non-surgical therapies to minimally invasive medical procedures.

Causes of Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD)

Degenerative disc disease Treatment
  • Drying out: At birth, spinal discs are composed of 80% water. Over time, spinal discs lose their water and begin to flatten out. Flat, dry discs offer less effective shock absorption for the spine, causing pain in the spine.
  • Daily Activities: By age 60, nearly every person has experienced a degree of disc degeneration, but not all degeneration results in pain. Everyday movement and repeated stress can cause tiny cracks in the outer wall of the spinal discs. Tears in near nerves can be extremely painful and may allow some of the inner disc material to leak out.
  • Injuries: Even minor injuries can cause affect the spine, causing inflammation, soreness, and instability.

Compared to other tissues in the body, the spinal discs have very little blood flow. Due to this lack of blood supply, the discs are unable to repair themselves after injury.

Treatment for Degenerative Disc Disease

Our team of spine specialists at Coastal have helped thousands of patients find relief from degenerative disc disease. We offer a variety of both non-surgical therapies and medical procedures to help get you feeling better.

Medical Procedures
  • Epidural Steroid Injections: Spinal steroid injections can reduce pain signals and inflammation. Injections are often combined with physical therapy to reduce pain so patients can effectively complete exercises.
  • Minimally Invasive Spine Procedures: Our spine surgeons are trained experts in minimally invasive robotic spine surgery, using truly advanced diagnostics, equipment, and cutting-edge techniques.
  • Discectomy: Removal of the affected herniated or degenerated disc.
  • Artificial Disc Replacement In some cases, a discectomy is coupled with artificial disc replacement to maintain spinal stability.
  • Laminectomy: Decompression therapy to remove the back of a vertebrae (lamina) to create more space for the spinal cord and relieve nerve pressure.
  • Laminotomy: Partial removal of a lamina to relieve nerve pressure.
  • Cervical and Lumbar Fusion Surgery: Fusion of two or more vertebrae using metal or bone grafts.
Non-Surgical Treatment Options
  • Exercise and Heating Pads: Everyday physical activity is a crucial part of treatment for degenerative disc disease. Exercise increases blood flow to the back, providing Exercise and Heating Pads - Everyday physical activity is a crucial part of treatment for degenerative disc disease. Exercise increases blood flow to the back, providing
  • Physical Therapy: Rehabilitative therapy helps strengthen the neck and back muscles to improve flexibility and stability. Combined with over the counter pain medications, a combination of non-surgical therapies is often enough for long term pain relief.
  • Chiropractic: Chiropractic care for degenerative disc disease may involve manual spinal manipulations, gentle, non-thrusting flexion-distraction techniques, non-surgical spinal decompression, manipulation under anesthesia. We can direct you to a trusted Chiro in your area.
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Our goal is to improve and maintain your overall health by empowering you with an understanding of your condition and wellness plan. We know there is no such thing as one-size-fits-all cure, so we never use a one-size-fits-all approach to your diagnosis.

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