Degenerative Disc Disease Treatment
at Rolling Hills Medical in Torrance
While degenerative disc disease can sound like an intimidating diagnosis, it is a misnomer, referring to a fairly common condition. The “disease” is characterized by the natural degeneration of spinal discs over time that causes pain. Depending on each patient and the severity of the degeneration, symptoms can range from minimal pain to intense pain that interferes with daily activity. At Rolling Hills Medical in Torrance, our team of interdisciplinary medical professionals, including spine surgeons, chiropractors, and physical therapists offer integrated treatments for degenerative disc disease. Treatments can range from non-surgical therapies to minimally invasive medical procedures.
Causes of Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD)
Degenerative disc disease occurs from natural wear and tear of the spine, often the result of simply aging. The spinal discs, made of a tough outer layer containing nerves and a soft, jelly-like core containing proteins, are supposed to act as shock absorbers for the spine and help maintain its flexibility. Degenerative disc disease is often the result of damage to the spinal discs caused by:
- Drying out - At birth, spinal discs are composed of 80% water. Over time, spinal discs lose their water and begin to flatten out. Flat, dry discs offer less effective shock absorption for the spine, causing pain in the spine.
- Daily Activities - By age 60, nearly every person has experienced a degree of disc degeneration, but not all degeneration results in pain. Everyday movement and repeated stress can cause tiny cracks in the outer wall of the spinal discs. Tears in near nerves can be extremely painful and may allow some of the inner disc material to leak out.
- Injuries - Even minor injuries can cause affect the spine, causing inflammation, soreness, and instability.
Compared to other tissues in the body, the spinal discs have very little blood flow. Due to this lack of blood supply, the discs are unable to repair themselves after injury.
Treatment for Degenerative Disc Disease
Our team of spine specialists at Rolling Hills Medical have helped thousands of patients find relief from degenerative disc disease. We offer a variety of both non-surgical therapies and medical procedures around Torrrance and Los Angeles:
- Epidural Steroid Injections - Spinal steroid injections can reduce pain signals and inflammation. Injections are often combined with physical therapy to reduce pain so patients can effectively complete exercises.
- Minimally Invasive Spine Procedures - Our spine surgeons are trained experts in minimally invasive spine surgery, using advanced diagnostics, equipment, and cutting-edge techniques.
- Discectomy - Removal of the affected herniated or degenerated disc.
- Artificial Disc Replacement - In some cases, a discectomy is coupled with artificial disc replacement to maintain spinal stability.
- Laminectomy - Decompression therapy to remove the back of a vertebrae (lamina) to create more space for the spinal cord and relieve nerve pressure.
- Laminotomy - Partial removal of a lamina to relieve nerve pressure.
- Cervical and Lumbar Fusion Surgery - Fusion of two or more vertebrae using metal or bone grafts.
Non-Surgical Treatment Options
- Exercise and Heating Pads - Everyday physical activity is a crucial part of treatment for degenerative disc disease. Exercise increases blood flow to the back, providing oxygen and nutrients to help joints and muscles recover and to flush out inflammatory waste products. Heating pads help relax muscles around irritated joints to make stretching and exercising more effective.
- Physical Therapy - Rehabilitative therapy helps strengthen the neck and back muscles to improve flexibility and stability. Combined with over the counter pain medications, a combination of non-surgical therapies is often enough for long term pain relief.
- Chiropractic - Chiropractic care for degenerative disc disease may involve manual spinal manipulations, gentle, non-thrusting flexion-distraction techniques, non-surgical spinal decompression, manipulation under anesthesia.
What to Expect
Our team of experts at Rolling Hills Medical can help patients find relief from degenerative disc disease related pain symptoms. To schedule a consultation with our spine specialists in Torrance, call us today at 424-250-8699 to get free consultation to find out what your underlying causes of pain and discomfort are.