Lumbar Degenerative Disc Disease 101

Lumbar degenerative disc disease is a disease of the lower or the lumbar spine. The soft intervertebral discs in the lower spine start to wear out as a result of trauma or age. When a disc wears out, the elastic outer ring starts breaking down. This can cause loss of disc space and alignment. The disc can bulge out leading to nerve compression and painful bone spurs. The lumbar degenerative disc disease can lead to degenerative instability where the spine is unable to maintain normal movement during load bearing.

Treating Degenerative Disc Disease

Having degenerative disc disease doesn’t mean you have to settle for pain and discomfort. There are several treatment options, and your specialist will be able to help you decide which one is best for you.

Non-Invasive Solutions

It is important to begin treatment with non-invasive or conservative treatment options. Your pain management doctor may recommend one or more of the following solutions –

  • Limiting or restricting physical activity for some time
  • Rest
  • Heat and cold compress
  • Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) to relieve pain, discomfort and swelling
  • Strengthening exercises and physical therapy
  • Cortisone injections to reduce swelling and pain
  • Nerve Blocks to prevent pain signals from reaching the brain

Surgical Solutions

If you are unable to find relief with conservative solutions, it may be time for minimally invasive surgery to address your pain.