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Degenerative Disc Disease Overview


Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD) is commonly mistaken for a disease due to its name. However, DDD is actually the natural, decomposing effects of aging. Our bodies endure a substantial amount of stress throughout a lifetime, and the spine is literally the backbone of our bodies’ upright and mechanical positioning and movement. The spine allows us to twist, bend, arch, and lean, while allowing our bodies to retain its skeletal form. The discs in the spine, in between each vertebra, act as shocks for those vertebrae, relieving the stress and blunt force that they would otherwise endure. However, just like shocks in an automobile, these discs become worn out over time due to strenuous and frequent use.

What Causes Degenerative Disc Disease?

As we age, the cartilage protecting our spinal discs deteriorates, allowing the discs to bulge or protrude. Due to the shape and curvature of our spine, this usually occurs in the upper and lower back. These parts of the spine are the focal points of pressure and strenuous activity. The actual corrosion of the cartilage is called Osteoarthritis, and the most common result of this is a herniated disc. Both of these issues, along with other related effects, greatly increase nerve damage and spinal pain.

What are the Symptoms of Degenerative Disc Disease?

Pain tolerance and awareness differs greatly between different people. While some people with DDD experience a great amount pain in certain areas of their back and neck, others might feel no pain at all. These pains are typically more noticed with movement of the back, such as twisting, reaching, arching, or bending over. Because of the structure and functionality of nerves, sharp pain can sometimes be felt outside of the general area of the affected disc, such as in the arms and legs, usually depending on upper or lower disc damage.

How is Degenerative Disc Disease Diagnosed?

The diagnosis process is detailed and thorough, as it is extremely important to uproot the cause of any pain in the spine to determine the underlying issue and recommend the correct treatments. A physician will discuss with a patient any previous injuries, damage, or pain to the neck and spine. After neurostimulation, the physician can then make an educated decision on what treatments should initially take place to relieve any pain.

How is Degenerative Disc Disease Treated?

Unfortunately, there is no cure for DDD, but there are many different treatments patients can undergo to help with the symptoms of DDD, such as neck and back pain and nerve damage. Therapeutic, non-invasive treatment is primarily recommended to relieve neck and back pain in most cases. However, if the pain is too great or the damage to a disc is too severe, minimally invasive surgery could be recommended by a physician as a solution to further ease the pain.

There are two different kinds of non-invasive treatments for lower back pain: passive and active. Passive treatments consist of pain medication, such as muscle relaxers, anti-inflammatory medicine, and oral steroids. More passive treatments include neurostimulation, ultra sound to enhance blood flow, therapeutic massages to relax muscles, and anti-inflammatory injections to reduce swelling.

Active treatments are more of a self-help, health focus. These include exercising, such as lifting light weights for muscle memory and retention, weight loss to provide relief from certain pressure points on the spine, and quitting smoking to increase blood to ensure faster healing.

Why Choose Become Pain Free?

From chiropractors to pain management specialists to expert spine surgeons, Become Pain Free can help get rid of your pain so you can get your life back on track. To learn more about how we can help, fill out the form on the right or call 888-373-3720. We'll connect you with the right specialist so you can stop living in pain.Call Become Pain Free... your pain solution.

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Can Yoga Help Back Pain?

Yoga and Research Studies Yoga has been used for many decades in order to promote health and prevent disease. Studies show that individuals experiencing back problems have discovered the health benefits of yoga to include; relief of pain, an increase in strength and flexibility, along with relaxation and acceptance the self. In recent years, research in yoga and its effect on treating medical conditions have encouraged the idea that yoga is a valuable part of the treatment process. Our classes entail a combination of meditation, physical and breathing exercises. All of which are essential for alleviating chronic pain. Before starting a yoga program, it is important to consult with a physician. It is also critical to inform the yoga instructor at the beginning of class about the underlying condition. Yoga and Back Pain Muscle tension is one of the leading causes of back pain. In most cases, the tension is centered around the spine, hips and shoulders. Yoga’s emphasis on strength and stability is ideal for alleviating chronic pain in the back while increasing circulation. This is especially essential for people experiencing back pain due to stress or poor posture. Benefits of Yoga Exercise When the yoga exercise is executed, muscles that are not often stretched will begin to loosen in areas where they were previously tensed. Yoga is an excellent practice for individuals seeking a form of relaxation and tension release. Yoga is comprised of varying postures offering rest and restoration. Most of the positions can be modified to fit the individual’s personal fitness level. This helps keep the chances of injury at a minimum. Alignment Alignment is probably the most critical aspect of yoga in terms of relieving pain in the back. This premise stems from the notion that every single part of the body can have both positive and negative effects on counterparts. Yoga exercises strengthen and promote flexibility on the entire body. The combination of somatic poses allows for more tension release and amplified flexibility. Breathing Exercises Yoga breathing techniques are utilized for the purpose of circulating oxygen throughout the entire body. This in turn allows for a much deeper stretch. These type of breathing exercises also provide the opportunity for meditation on an emotional and spiritual level, a practice many people believe to be essential for overcoming pain. Closing Remarks Although no single treatment is beneficial for everyone, most phases of yoga make it ideal for healing back pain. Our company is comprised of pain management experts who specialize in chronic pain. We make it our mission to help individuals suffering from pain regain their lives. To learn more about how we can further assist you or your loved one, contact us and we will connect you with one of our health professionals.

Note: The information on this Web site is provided as general health guidelines and may not be applicable to your particular health condition. Your individual health status and any required medical treatments can only be properly addressed by a professional healthcare provider of your choice. Remember: There is no adequate substitution for a personal consultation with your physician. Neither BPF Specialty Hospital, or any of their affiliates, nor any contributors shall have any liability for the content or any errors or omissions in the information provided by this Web site.