Posts Tagged ‘spinal stenosis and ankylosing spondylitis’

postheadericon Degenerative Disc Disease Treatment Options

Degenerative disc disease from osteoarthritis of the back can cause you extreme pain and suffering. There are a few ways whereby you can treat degenerative disc disease. Understanding what degenerative disc disease is, and what you can do, are important steps towards a better quality of life.

The chance of getting degenerative disc disease increases with age. Degenerative disc disease refers to a group of painful back conditions. Other types of diseases that can cause it are spinal stenosis and ankylosing spondylitis. It is usually caused by osteoarthritis of the spine, and it can be quite painful. If you have osteoarthritis of the spine, your pain comes from the vertebra becoming inflamed and irritated because of the compression of the disk. As your spine works to heal itself, small calcium stones are created on the spinal column. You will then experience painful attacks and a lack of mobility of the spinal will occur.

There are several treatment options if you have osteoarthritis of the spine. A popular OTC medication is paracetamol for pain. Codeine can be used in conjunction with paracetamol for added pain relief too. There are other prescription medications that are anti-inflammatory, which reduce pain. Steroids such as prednisone are one, but they cannot be taken on a long-term basis, especially for people with high blood pressure and heart disease. Side effects include bleeding ulcers and severe indigestion.

Steroids can also be taken as injections directly into the back for pain relief from osteoarthritis. A newer treatment in the injection form is using hyaluronic acid. Some medical studies have shown that it may push the body to make other cells that form cartilage in the back. Other studies on hyaluronic injection treatments theorize that it may help with lubrication between the spinal pads of the back. Only your doctor is qualified to tell you if they feel that using hyaluronic treatment may be beneficial for your pain management from osteoarthritis in your back.

It is thought that because osteoarthritis inhibits blood flow to the cartilage and muscles, taking glucosamine and chondroitin helps increase blood flow and maintain a healthier cartilage. These are food supplements that can be bought directly from over the counter. Other types of natural holistic treatments are taking avocado and soybeans, in either a pill form, or adding this to your diet in elevated concentrations. A few medical studies have shown that people who did add this to their diet experienced less pain, and not quite as much dependence on painkillers. Talk with your doctor if you feel that it may help with your painful osteoarthritis episodes.

Exercise is another good way to control pain and help with movement. Also, make sure that you control your weight too. Excess weight causes pressure on the back, and increases pain in the back.

Non-traditional therapies for degenerative disc disease caused by osteoarthritis are acupuncture and deep body massages. Acupuncture is believed to inhibit the body’s pain receptors in the brain, and it thereby makes it easier for you to cope with the pain. Deep body messages relax tense muscles, and it can stress from pain. Many people have found relief from pain by using these two techniques for pain management by either using them independently, or in conjunction with each other. It is also thought that with acupuncture and deep body messages that pain fighting hormones are released into the body to dull the sensation of pain.

An excellent home remedy is to use a heat on the painful area. You may find that a moist heat is the best, but always use safety when applying heat from a heating pad for your back. Do not leave the heat on it for more than 30 minutes, and let your skin cool down. You do not want blisters. You can reapply heat as needed throughout the day, but make sure to rest between cool downs. If you don’t muscle spasms can occur, and it will delay your healing time. If you can take aspirin for your pain because it is an anti-inflammatory, but remember it’s also a blood thinner, and aspirin will raise blood pressure.

It can be depressing to be inflicted with degenerative disc disease. The best that you can do is try out a combination of methods to help you relieve yourself from pain. Hopefully one day there will be an effective and safe cure for your back.

postheadericon Spinal Stenosis – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Spinal stenosis, as the name suggests, is a defect caused to the spinal canal. It directly affects the functioning if the brain as the spinal canal narrowing causes difficulty in the transfer of data from the different parts of the body to the brain. This results in sensory problems or even malfunctioning of certain body parts. This may be limited to any special area of the spinal canal or the whole of it.

The Causes

Spinal Stenosis can be genetically transferred or even acquired. Genetic conditions that cause Spinal Stenosis could be a genetically shallow spinal canal or a bone defect which causes the spinal column to become narrow. It is usually seen in persons who are in the age group above fifty years. Most of the reported cases of Spinal Stenosis have been acquired. One of the interesting facts about Spinal Stenosis is that women are more prone to this disease than men. Normally it occurs as a result of degeneration of cells or neurons due to aging. If the person is having arthritis also, the chance of having Spinal Stenosis increases by about thirty five percentage. Injuries or conditions occurred due to some other diseases, for instance the Paget’s disease, or accidents can also cause Spinal Stenosis.

The Symptoms

The symptoms can vary according to the spot of narrowing of the spinal canal. The lower back or the lumbar area is the most prone area to this disease. The main symptom of Spinal Stenosis is acute pain in the spinal chord area which slowly deepens in to your legs. You will feel relieved if you rest in an upright sitting position or if you bend forward. As stated earlier this could render some body parts not responding or malfunctioning. In most of the cases the patients were experiencing loss of function of bladder, sexual organs or bladder. Difficulty in walking is another major symptom of Spinal Stenosis.

Another area of attack of Spinal Stenosis is the neck region. This type of Spinal Stenosis is called as cervical stenosis. Persons suffering from this disease could feel severe pain in the neck area and the hands. They will find it difficult to write properly or to pick some thing up using the fingers. This is because of the lack of proper communication between the hand and the brain. The loss of control of bladder and bowel is common to all types of stenosis. Usually the symptoms of Spinal Stenosis appear gradually and as the time passes it gravens.

The Treatments

Under normal conditions, the patient who suffers from Spinal Stenosis is given conventional treatment like relaxing exercises, etc. in almost 75% of such cases the patient will receive some relief through this physical therapy. Massage and acupuncture is also used in some cases.

Medicines which are anti- inflammatory and which relaxes the muscular systems are often prescribed by the doctors to counter the symptoms of Spinal Stenosis. But this can’t provide a permanent solution for this disease. In many cases, the only answer to Spinal Stenosis will be a corrective surgery.