How to Prevent Progression in Degenerative Disc Disease

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22 May

How to Prevent Progression in Degenerative Disc Disease

Every year, millions of Americans report experiencing back pain. One common cause is degenerative disc disease, which affects the intervertebral discs that cushion your spine’s vertebrae. As time progresses, these discs can wear down, resulting in chronic pain, stiffness and inflexibility. By age 60, approximately 20% of adults have some sort of degeneration. You may experience this even earlier if you have an injury, obesity or a family history of degeneration.

While disc degeneration is painful, there are treatments that can help. At Georgia Medical Treatment Center, we have skilled back pain doctors who are highly experienced in non-surgical, minimally invasive degenerative disc disease treatments. Keep reading to learn more about this condition and how to treat it effectively.

How Can I Slow the Progression of Disc Degeneration?

For many people, disc degeneration may seem like an inevitable consequence of aging. However, there are steps you can take to preserve your spinal health, minimize symptoms and prevent further damage. Here are a few lifestyle habits that may help:

  • Practice good posture: Have you ever felt back pain after slouching? Good posture is key to reducing pressure on your spine and spinal discs. Whether you’re sitting down or standing, try to keep your back straight. Investing in ergonomic furniture may be helpful for those who work desk jobs.
  • Maintain a healthy weight: Excess weight puts extra stress on the spine, quickening the degeneration process. Maintaining a healthy weight through a balanced diet and regular exercise helps reduce strain.
  • Avoid smoking: Smoking impedes blood flow to the spinal discs, which prevents them from getting nutrients and encourages degeneration.
  • Stay physically active: Not only does staying active help prevent excess weight gain, but it also improves posture and overall spinal health. Focus on low-impact activities that strengthen muscles without stressing the spine, such as stretching, walking, swimming and cycling.

In addition to implementing these lifestyle changes, you may benefit from physical therapy. During a standard session, the physical therapist will design a personalized exercise program that takes your unique condition and limitations into account. Then, they’ll walk you through exercises that enhance function and reduce pain, such as planks, bridges and posture stretches. By working with a professional, you can closely monitor your progress and adjust exercises to meet your evolving needs.

What Are Professional Degenerative Disc Disease Treatments?

While lifestyle changes and physical therapy can go a long way toward improving your back health, they’re not always enough to prevent the progression of degenerative disc disease. If you’re looking for professional treatment options, our back pain specialists are here to help. We offer the following minimally invasive procedures:

  • Radiofrequency ablation: During this procedure, a thin probe is inserted near the damaged disc. Once it’s in place, it delivers radiofrequency energy, or heat generated by radio waves, to nearby nerves. The heat disrupts the nerves, preventing them from sending pain signals to the brain.
  • Spinal decompression: This treatment relieves pressure on spinal nerves by removing part of the affected disc material. To perform the procedure, small incisions need to be made. Overall, the treatment is minimally invasive, and many patients report immediate pain relief.

Both of these treatments are designed to deliver long-term relief. Unsure which one is better for you? After considering your health, symptoms and medical history, our team can determine the best treatment plan for your needs.

Schedule Your Appointment Today!

Ready to say good-bye to back pain? At Georgia Medical Treatment Center, we support patients with non-surgical, FDA-approved pain treatments. Our team includes board-certified medical doctors, back specialists and physical therapists, all of whom work together to devise the best possible treatment plans. By taking the time to get to know your needs, we assure positive patient outcomes and long-term pain relief. Schedule a consultation today!

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