4 Natural Treatments for Degenerative Disc Disease
Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD), or spondylosis, is a condition that involves chronic pain and discomfort associated with the ongoing degeneration of a spinal disc. One of the most alarming aspects to sufferers is a sense that it is a worsening, progressive disease. This is a misconception. “Degenerative” is not a term used to describe worsening pain but rather the deterioration of the affected spinal disc itself.
As discouraging as the disease can be, there is some good news. The pain associated with degenerative disc disease can be greatly reduced over time with the right steps. In fact, it's possible to see pain and symptoms disappear in as little as three months. While you may think that the simplest path to a pain-free life is to get surgery, there are natural treatment methods for making life with DDD easier.
1. Deep Tissue Massages
According to a study published by Annals of Internal Medicine in 2011, continuous deep massage treatment is an effective method of combating lower back pain. The subjects used in this study all suffered from chronic lower back pain. Following 10 weeks of deep tissue massages, patients all reported that their symptoms had gone down significantly. Massage treatments are also great for reducing stress and promoting relaxation.
2. Cayenne Peppers or Capsaicin
The cayenne pepper is a popular natural tool for treating various ailments, including back and joint pain. The relief is credited to a substance found in cayenne called capsaicin. When applied topically, capsaicin, or capsaicin-containing foods like cayenne, have shown evidence of pain relief.
3. Perform Exercises for Back Pain
While a deep massage can be thought of as more passive approach to lower back pain, exercising is inarguably proactive. The right exercises are also said to be deeply effective in combating chronic symptoms. Patients should also look toward a gentle, but effective yoga sequence for back pain.
4. Try Acupuncture & Massage
Acupuncture, the act of sticking fine needles into the body at key locations, has been the subject of numerous studies over the past few decades. While there is still much to learn about this practice, there are results that suggest it can be an option for DDD patients. A 2010 review by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality points to the possibility that acupuncture is a great method of relieving lower back pain.
It's important to note that this research pointed to the immediate relief of chronic symptoms for a short period of time. There was nothing to suggest a long-term relief from pain. In other words, acupuncture is a treatment method you would need to use regularly; it would likely work best in conjunction with massage therapy.
It's not easy for sufferers to cope with the pain of degenerative disc disease, particularly when first diagnosed. There may be a lot of fear and unanswered questions. Persons who suffer from DDD may find themselves unable to work or move without pain.
Proper research can lead patients to solutions that will make their pain go away with time and slowly improve their overall quality of life. These alternative treatments present options that allow for improved health without the invasiveness of surgery. Adrienne Erin is a health and fitness blogger passionate about treating ailments naturally. You can read more of her work on her blog Foodie Fitness or get in contact with her on Twitter at @foodierx.