Degenerative Bone Disease
First your doctor will look at MRI results which show the degree of disc degeneration. Other conditions will be considered if the pain becomes worse. Some symptoms are common to someone with degenerative disc disease, pain levels will go up and down depending on how active you are.
If you think you may have degenerative disk disease, you should become aware of the symptoms that lower back pain causes. Low back pain becomes worst with sitting, or standing, activities that require bending, lifting or twisting of lower back pain. You will find relief by changing positions, or lying down.
Most people with degenerative disc disease have some degree of chronic low back pain, and episodes of severe back pain. Muscle spasms are reactions to the chronic back pain. In degenerative disc disease there may be lower back pain with leg pain, numbness, or tingling. The nerves become sensitized with inflammation causing numbness, or tingling pain which usually doesn't go below the knee though. Although the pain is annoying, it rarely causes nerve damage.
Chronic pain does not meet the levels of acute pain, and there is no tissue damage. Degenerative disc disease pain can go on, but the pain is manageable without surgery. Most important to a person with chronic degenerative disc disease is to be able to manage the chronic back pain, their self with exercise, preventing excess stress, and being able to function at work, and home. Pain is caused by a combination of instability and inflammation.
Treatment for a Degenerative Disc
Degenerative disc treatment for pain may include: pain
medication, chiropractic manipulation, epidural injections, TENS units,
ultrasound and massage. Pain medication will include NSAIDS, oral steroids,
muscle relaxants and narcotic drugs. Chiropractic treatment will include relieving
pressure, increasing range of motion, increasing blood flow, reducing muscle tension,
and increasing endorphins; a chemical which is the body's natural pain killer.
Epidural Treatment puts steroids into the lower back by injection. TENS unit is electric stimulation which overrides pain signals. Ultrasound is used for acute pain to warm the area, bringing up blood flow and nutrients to the area. Therapeutic low back massage may improve blood flow, muscle stiffness, increasing motion and endorphins levels. Other treatments that may help are: alternating heat and ice, acupuncture, and behavior therapies. They offer enough relief so you can go on to exercise or to rehabilitation treatments. Other passive treatments may include: quit smoking, lose weight, ergonomics and exercise.