One common issue that affects many people as they get older is degenerative disc disease. What is this, you ask? Degenerative disc disease is the term used to describe the normal aging changes in your spinal discs. Spinal discs (soft, compressible discs) make up the spine, separating the vertebrae and acting as shock absorbers. These soft discs allow the spine to flex, bend, and twist. As a person ages, these discs start to wear and break down, and can result in several possible conditions, such as loss of fluid in the discs, tiny tears or cracks in the outer layer of the disc, or a herniated disc (from an injury). Some physicians are quick to recommend back surgery for these conditions. Thus, it is good for patients to find out more about what are the different types of back surgery.
First of all, are there symptoms that indicate degenerative disc disease? A person may experience severe pain, depending on the location of the affected disc. If the affected disc is in the neck area, it may result in neck or arm pain. An affected disc in the lower back may result in pain in the back, buttock, or leg, or in some cases, numbness or tingling in a leg or arm. The pain may start suddenly after a major injury (such as a car accident), a minor injury (such as a short fall), or from normal activities (such as bending over to tie your shoe). Or, the pain may start gradually for an unknown reason and get worse over time.
When looking for back surgery alternatives, look for a chiropractor who specializes in spine decompression therapy. They will need to know your symptoms, injuries or illnesses (such as fractures, tumors, and infections), any previous treatment you have had for these conditions, as well as your habits and activities that may cause your pain. You will also be examined for range of motion, areas of tenderness and any numbness, tingling, or weakness.
If you’ve been told that surgery is your only option for degenerative disc disease, call McKim Chiropractic today for more information about the different types of back surgery and how to make a decision. We may have a solution for you! Our chiropractic doctors offer the DRS Protocol™, a non-surgical spinal decompression therapy which relieves low back pain associated with spinal and disc problems. Our licensed and certified staff wants to restore pain-free living to the residents of Boise, ID, Nampa, ID, and Caldwell, ID.