Teaching Patients to Manage Degenerative Disc Disease Pain at Home
For most people, degenerative disc disease is an unfortunate side effect of aging. Almost everyone will experience some of the uncomfortable effects of the natural degeneration of their spinal discs at some point, including minor pain, reduced mobility, or numbness and tingling. However, some patients may experience persistent pain and symptoms related to wear and tear on these discs more than others.
While alternative forms of treatment like chiropractic care may provide relief from these degenerative disc disease symptoms, chiropractors should also inform their patients of ways they can manage their symptoms on their own. Many at-home treatments complement the traditional Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP) approach that Ideal Spine emphasizes and may help keep patients from turning to pain medication to get their symptoms under control.
Chiropractors should encourage the following at-home treatments and teach patients how to do them properly for effective pain management:
- Physical activity: Stretching and exercising are two of the most important at-home treatments for pain caused by degenerative disc disease. Physical activity is required to strengthen the muscles that support the spine. Exercising also improves blood flow to the back, providing oxygen and nutrients that muscles need to remain strong and flexible and that discs need to stay pliable. Patients should engage in low-impact exercises like walking, biking, or swimming multiple times per week. Chiropractors should also teach patients stretches and exercises to target specific points of pain, such as hamstring stretches.
- Heat and cold therapy: The application of ice and heat at different intervals may help reduce pain when disc degeneration flare-ups occur. Heat is most appropriate when degenerative disc disease causes muscle tension or spasms in the back. Ice is useful when the condition has caused inflammation in the back, as well as after exercising.
- Correcting posture: Maintaining good posture is another crucial aspect of mitigating degenerative disc disease pain at home. Good posture alleviates stress on the spinal discs and may help patients avoid falling into postures that aggravate their pain more, like slouching forward. Patients should sit up straight in chairs that provide adequate lower back support and maintain the natural curvature of the spine. Frequently changing position while standing or sitting may also help prevent stiffness in the spine. Activity modification may be necessary to avoid exacerbating disc pain caused by certain movements or positions.
- Healthy living: A number of healthy habits can protect the spinal discs and potentially prevent disc pain from worsening. Eating a healthy diet and staying hydrated ensures proper hydration and nutrient flow to the discs; it may also contribute to maintaining a healthy weight to prevent unnecessary stress on the spine. Quitting smoking is essential in degenerative disc disease patients because smoking interferes with adequate nutrient flow to the discs and may make disc degenerate faster.
Through a combination of at-home treatment methods and holistic chiropractic approaches, chiropractors can create a comprehensive treatment plan that may alleviate disc pain. The CBP approaches from Ideal Spine are designed to address concerns related to degenerative disc disease and similar spinal conditions, so patients have the best chance at life-long comfort.
Chiropractic BioPhysics® corrective care trained Chiropractors are located throughout the United States and in several international locations. CBP providers have helped thousands of people throughout the world realign their spine back to health, and eliminate a source of chronic back pain, chronic neck pain, chronic headaches and migraines, fibromyalgia, and a wide range of other health conditions. If you are serious about your health and the health of your loved ones, contact a CBP trained provider today to see if you qualify for care. The exam and consultation are often FREE. See www.CBPpatient.com for providers in your area.
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