Degenerative Disc Disease and Back Pain
Though the word “disease” can strike fear into anybody’s heart, degenerative disc disease isn’t actually a disease at all. In fact, this term merely describes the natural progression and changes in your spinal discs that come with age. Changes in these discs, which are the soft, compressible material between the vertebrae in your spine, can be a common cause of back and neck pain. The areas that are most affected are those in your neck and in the lower regions of your back. The pain can often be intense, creating a loss of enjoyment in your life.
There are many reasons why someone may develop a worsening case of degenerative disc disease. You could be experiencing a loss of the fluids that make up your discs, which not only narrows the distance between your vertebrae causing undue pressure, but also makes you less flexible. There is also the possibility that you may have suffered an acute injury to your lower back which set off a “chain reaction” throughout the rest of your spinal discs. Those who are obese, engage in regular heavy lifting or who are smokers also run the risk of developing degenerative disc disease.
Though normal back pain generally clears itself up over the course of a few weeks, those who have developed degenerative disc disease will often experience chronic, or at least frequent, pain. If you have been experiencing back pain for more than a few months, it’s important to visit a specialist team to develop a plan of action. Allowing it to go on can result in worsening damage to your spine, and therefore more pain, mobility issues, and problems further down the line. By seeing a team with a variety of approaches, such as the ones offered at Integrated Spine & Sports, the staff can help develop a program to tackle your pain and put you on the road to a pain-free life.
Our approach to treating back pain
By visiting a back pain specialist clinic such as Integrated Spine & Sports, the professionals there can help individually tailor a program to help both manage your symptoms and work on your recovery.
We offer non-surgical options for the treatment of injuries and medical conditions affecting the back, with an integrative approach that may include:
Back Pain Specialists
Our back pain specialists in Manhattan create custom treatments designed to meet the needs of people suffering from acute pain due to injury, as well as those experiencing chronic conditions affecting the muscles, discs, soft tissue and nerves within the back, cervical spine, and neck.
Our integrative team, consisting of a board-certified physiatrist, chiropractors, and physical therapists, offers comprehensive treatment for acute and chronic back pain treatment in NYC.
Back Pain FAQs
Some of the common symptoms of COVID-19 are “aches and pains”. Some patients do experience back pain, especially in the lower back. In some cases, the pain is subtle but constant. In others, it is an intense, pulsating pain, which can radiate down to the legs. If the back pain persists, consult your doctor.
Generally, the best position to sleep is on your back. Sleeping on one’s back ensures that the spine is in a neutral position, which can help with back pain. You can also put a pillow under your knees, legs, and/or lower back to support the natural curve of the spine. This can minimize lumbar pressure and relieve back pain.
If doing gentle back stretches doesn’t do the trick, then try strengthening your core so your spine isn’t struggling to stay upright. Heat therapy and cold therapy can also work well for pain relief. If your back pain is a result of poor posture or a bad workstation setup, make the necessary changes to avoid back pain in the future.
Your back pain is likely serious if it occurs with any of the following symptoms: numbness in lower body, loss of bladder/bowel control, fever, unexplained weight loss, swelling. In such cases, please consult a physiatrist immediately.
Short-term (or acute) back pain lasts a few days to a few weeks. This is often the case with back pain, and patients usually recover without medical treatment. Sometimes, it lasts for 12 weeks or longer. This is called chronic back pain, and it can take a while to go away. Medical treatment often helps relieve chronic backpain, so we recommend consulting a physiatrist.
Acupuncture provides short-term relief for chronic back pain. Back pain is actually the number 1 reported reason people seek acupuncture. By stimulating the various acupuncture points associated with back pain, parts of the nervous system are also stimulated, which can help provide pain relief.