by Nevada Pain
Degenerative disc disease is caused by the “wear and tear” the body experiences as a person ages. This causes the discs in the back to lose water content and shrink, which can cause discomfort or difficulty moving. When this happens, the normal stresses absorbed by the discs may shift the joints of the spine.
The area where the bones of the spine come together, known as the facet joints, can be affected by this disease which also increases the risk of secondary problems including spinal stenosis or disc herniation.
Symptoms of Degenerative Disc Disease
The symptoms of degenerative disc disease will vary based on which structures in the spine are being affected by this condition. Interestingly, most individuals who have DDD have no symptoms at all!
During the early stages of this disease patients may experience pain in the affected area. If the facet joint has begun to degenerate, the area where the nerves exit the spine can become more narrow, leading to leg pain along with pain in the back.
Treating Degenerative Disc Disease
Las Vegas pain management doctors will first focus on providing treatment options for degenerative disc disease that will help to control the progression of this condition. This will involve a combination of pain relief and physical therapy to prevent additional symptoms from appearing or the condition becoming worse.
- Patients are encouraged to stay as active as possible. This will help the back to heal as well as preserve the functionality of the spine by pumping nutrient and oxygen-rich blood into the tissue. Keeping the blood flowing will keep the discs hydrated and pliable to encourage healthy movement. Patients are encouraged to participate in at least 30 minutes of low impact exercises and strength training a day. Stretching in the morning can also help to increase mobility.
- A physical therapy routine can be developed for those that are already seeing significant damage to their back. This will help to balance the muscles around the spine with those
in the shoulders, pelvis or other joints to help alleviate stress.
- If inflammation is contributing to the symptoms, anti-inflammatory medications such as naproxen or ibuprofen may be recommended. Those with more severe symptoms may be given steroid shots to limit discomfort.
- Interventional pain management treatments may include intradiscal injections, facet blocks, medial branch blocks, or radiofrequency ablation. These treatments may provide exceptional relief for months at a time.
- Spinal decompression therapy – this treatment involves intermittent spinal traction and has been shown to provide over 85% good to excellent results for degenerative disc disease pain.
Most pain management doctors in Las Vegas consider surgical intervention a last resort if considerable conservative treatment hasn’t worked for over 6 months. Nevada Pain is the top pain clinic in Las Vegas, Henderson and Summerlin, offering over 50 treatment options for pain relief.
Most insurance is accepted and the clinics offer both medical and interventional pain treatments, along with chiropractic, acupuncture, physical therapy and spinal decompression therapy. Call (702) 323-0553 for more information and scheduling today!