Degenerative disc disease (DDD) is a term that encompasses a wide range of problems, including spinal disc dehydration, bulging and herniation. Though the word “disease” makes it sound daunting, most people will experience disc wear at some point in their lives; only a small fraction will experience symptoms such as back and nerve pain due to disc degeneration.
Spinal discs in the lower back are most susceptible to wear, as this segment of the spine undergoes the most loading and movement. A number of factors can lead to disc wear, including the process of aging, poor nutrition, lack of exercise or regular movements that tax the spine, such as swinging a golf club or baseball bat. Discs may also be injured during a hard fall or forcible twisting motion.
Natural Disc Treatments
Back pain rarely calls for surgery; if nerve impingement caused by a disc problem is severe, you may be advised to receive spinal fusion, disc replacement or microdiscectomy. However, in the vast majority of cases, conservative treatments are sufficient.
One of the most important treatments for DDD is exercise. Strong muscles surrounding the spine help to support it, taking pressure off the disc. Since most disc problems occur in the lumbar spine, a core exercise program is generally recommended. See www.spine-health.com for a well-rounded core routine.
Aerobic exercise is also important for disc health and recovery, since the cardiovascular system is responsible for delivering nutrients and oxygen to spinal discs. People with disc degeneration need to be careful about the exercises they perform; nothing that jars the spine should be attempted. Brisk walking and water exercise are ideal for this condition.
You can also help heal your discs through dietary changes. See Foods That Help Heal Degenerated Discs for a list of foods that help mend and maintain spinal discs.
Finally, consider pursuing inversion treatments for degenerated discs. When lying on an inversion table, the pull of gravity on your spine is reversed. Regular, short sessions may allow your disc to expand and reabsorb lost fluids. Tables can be purchased for your home for as little as $100. There are a few studies that support the use of inversion therapy for people with back pain, but perhaps the best endorsement comes from patients who have reviewed the therapy. See the positive reviews at
www.dailystrength.org for first-hand accounts.
Most of the time, back pain caused by disc problems can be managed without surgery. Always try natural degenerated disc treatments before invasive procedures and medication when possible.