WHAT IS DEGENERATIVE DISC DISEASE?
Simply put, degenerative disc disease refers to pain symptoms along the spine caused by wear-and-tear on a spinal disc. In some cases, degenerative disc disease also causes weakness, numbness, and hot, shooting pains in the arms or legs.
Degenerative disc disease can create chronic pain mostly in the lower back but can also impact the rest of the spine all the way to the neck. In some patients, the pain may travel from the lower back down into the hips and buttocks — a condition called sciatica. Unlike most other forms of osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease is common even in young adults, often detected after a sudden strain or impact injury, but naturally people tend to become more susceptible to it as they get older.
PHYSICAL THERAPY CAN HELP
There are many factors that can help manage or reduce the chronic pain that comes with degenerative disc disease. It is advisable to see a specialist, like the ones at Renew Physical Therapy, to get the treatment that is specific to your needs. The two primary treatment factors a physical therapist will help with is stretching and strengthening.
STRETCHING AND MOBILITY
Your body was built for motion. Nature designed the spinal column and all the connected muscles, ligaments, and tendons for mobility and movement. When your body loses its range of motion it can lead to chronic pain and faster progression of degenerative disc disease.
STRENGTHENING AND MUSCLE CONTROL
When you strengthen the muscles, you gain muscle control. When you have increased strength and control, you also help stabilize the spinal segments. Good muscular control of the spine can help compensate for a degenerated disc and reduce both instability and pain.
TREATING CHRONIC PAIN
The biggest challenge for those with degenerative disc disease can be the chronic pain. At Renew Physical Therapy, we continually reassess each patient during his/her episode of care to ensure that the individualized treatment program is appropriately progressing toward a less painful and better quality of life. In treating patients who are dealing with chronic pain, we are frequently involved in a multidisciplinary approach with several pain management clinics in Portland who concurrently use other forms of conservative interventions such as oral medication, injection procedures of medication or prolotherapy, counseling, radiofrequency ablation, spinal electrical stimulator devices, acupuncture, etc.
Visit our About Us page to learn more about our practice, clinic, and staff. You can also read more about our Chronic Pain Treatment and Physical Therapy for Car Accidents. Call us at 503.928.4914 to schedule an appointment.
Renew Your Body, Reclaim Your Life!