One of the leading causes of lower back pain is a condition called degenerative disc disease. This disease often occurs from age, but it can also be caused by weight, trauma, and activities you perform. If you recently discovered that this is the cause of your back pain, you may want to know what you can do to find relief from it. Here are several things you should understand about degenerative disc disease and the treatment options you can use for relief.
What Causes This Disease?
Your back is made up of a lot of different components, including bones, tissue, and nerves. The spine in your back supports your body and head, and it is made up of bones called vertebrae. In between each of these bones is a disc. The discs are there to absorb shock, which helps keep pressure off the actual bones in your spine. Degenerative disc disease occurs when the discs wear out. As this happens, your bones have nothing separating them. This allows your bones to begin rubbing together. This condition can occur from the following reasons:
- Age – As you age, this condition can happen naturally. These discs can naturally wear out from regular use of your back, and there is not a lot you can do to stop this from happening.
- Weight – Being overweight can cause this condition to occur prematurely. The extra weight you carry around is hard on the discs in your back, and this can lead to problems.
- Repeated movements – Your job or the activities you take part in can also be a contributing factor to this condition.
- Health problems – In addition, there are a variety of different health problems that can also lead to degenerative disc disease. Osteoarthritis is a condition causes the cartilage in the body to break down, which can lead to back problems.
No matter what has caused you to develop degenerative disc disease, you might be able to find treatment options that can relieve the pain you are experiencing from this condition.
How Can You Treat This Condition?
Visiting a doctor is a good place to start when looking for treatment options for this condition. Your doctor might prescribe pain pills to help you with the pain, and he or she might recommend the following treatment options:
- Physical therapy – This is a service used to help people reduce pain and keep their mobility. Through this, you will perform exercises and activities that strengthen the muscles in your back, and this might result in a decrease in pain.
- Chiropractic care – When a chiropractor performs an adjustment on your back, it can relieve the pressure caused by bones rubbing together. An adjustment is able to increase the gaps between the bones, and this will often relieve pressure and pain.
- Massage therapy – Deep tissue massages are also useful for all types of back pain, because they loosen muscles and improve oxygen flow to the muscles.
In addition, your doctor might suggest two other things. The first thing is losing weight. If you are overweight, losing enough weight could naturally provide relief for the pressure this condition causes. The second suggestion your doctor may have is exercising. Exercising is something that is helpful for almost any type of pain, including the pain you feel from degenerative disc disease. Exercising is also good for your heart and helps you keep your mobility.
Living with chronic back pain can make life less satisfying and can prevent you from doing things you enjoy. If you would like to learn more about this condition, contact a doctor that specializes in treatment options for back pain or a clinic such as Southwest Florida Neurosurgical Associates.