Natural Treatment Options For Degenerative Disc Problems
Degenerative disc disease is a painful condition resulting from natural wear and tear on spinal discs and the spinal column. Damage can also occur from injuries such as an automobile accident. When damage or injury occurs, the small discs located between the vertebrae can shift out of place and/or tear. The majority of most people are affected by disc problems, however, not everyone experiences the symptoms associated with the disease. Symptoms of degenerative disc disease may include severe back pain that radiates to the legs and feet, difficulties walking and problems when sitting for long periods of time. Fortunately, natural disc disease treatment is available in a variety of forms.
A popular and natural disc disease treatment that does not require taking medications is acupuncture. This type of treatment is done by a professional who specializes in acupuncture treatments. Each treatment typically takes between 30-40 minutes, depending on the area being treated and the depth of the amount of treatment required. The practitioner inserts acupuncture needles, which are as thin as a human hair, in the targeted area. The goal of acupuncture is to release specific neurochemicals, such as serotonin or endorphins that are necessary for eliminating pain and encouraging healing. The needles remove the “blockage” and allow the body’s meridians (channels which allow the chi to flow) to open up and restore a healthy energetic flow of Chi.
Chiropractic care is also a common natural disc disease treatment that does not involve medications. A chiropractor is trained in the diagnosing and treatment of disc injury by using noninvasive methods to relieve the pain associated with the disease. A chiropractor typically uses manipulations and/or massage to take the pressure off of the nerves that are causing the pain, which also increases the blood flow and range of motion. A chiropractor will also be able to provide information regarding lower back exercise and possible changes in diet that may help to reduce the pain and discomfort associated with degenerative disc disease.
A physical therapist will help you with a vast array of treatments to help ease the pain associated with degenerative disc disorder. Some of the treatments may include exercise, deep tissue massage, hot and cold therapies and/or spinal traction. Your physical therapist will teach you different exercises that will help improve range of motion, flexibility, core stability and strength. With physical therapy you will also be given an individualized treatment program that is designed for your particular degree of pain, your overall health, age and history. Deep tissue massage allows the therapists to apply direct pressure and friction to the affected area in order to relieve the tension in muscles, tendons and ligaments. Hot and cold therapies are important in helping increase the blood flow which provides nutrients and oxygen to the affected area. The therapist may use spinal traction as well to help alleviate pain by stretching your back to loosen compressed nerves and tight muscles.
There are several herbal remedies that may help alleviate the pain often associated with a degenerative disc. Although herbal remedies are a natural disc disease treatment, it is important to talk to your physician and do your research before beginning a herbal remedies treatment, because some remedies may interfere with prescription medications or other health problems. Some of the herbal remedies for degenerative disc disorder include:
S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe)-it has been suggested that SAMe may be beneficial for age-related wear and tear conditions of the spine such as degenerative disc disease and osteoarthritis. It may also help with depression, which is common for people who are suffering with pain and discomfort resulting from breakdown of the spinal discs.
Devil’s Claw-this herb is typically grown in Southern Africa and has been used for centuries as a treatment for arthritis, fever and as an anti-inflammatory. Devil’s Claw may help to relieve the inflammation and pain associated with this back ailment.
Bark of White Willow-this is often used to relieve pain and/or inflammation. Bark of White Willow is similar to aspirin, so if you have difficulties taking aspirin, it may irate your stomach. This anciently used herb is believed to be beneficial in relieving acute back pain, which is a common symptom of the condition.
Make Sure You Treat It Early
The symptoms and degree of pain associated with degenerative disc disease typically occur gradually. Initially, the disease may cause discomfort in localized areas and have mild inflammation, which generally results in avoiding the intervention of a physician. However, if the disease is not treated as soon as possible, it may lead to more severe damage such as a bulging disc compressing the nerves in the damaged area. Over time the pain will also typically become more severe and more difficult to alleviate. Natural treatments are an excellent alternative to relieving pain and inflammation; however, it is important that you discuss your options and ideas with a physician. Your family physician will also be able to refer you to an alternative treatment specialist such as a chiropractor, physical therapist or massage therapist.