Ask Dr. True - July 2015
Q: Can you treat degenerative disc disease?
A: Degenerative disc disease is not really a disease. It is a generalized term for a type of arthritis called osteoarthritis that is associated with aging or wear and tear on the intervertebral discs of the spine. The intervertebral discs of the spine are a shock absorbing soft-tissue structure that separates the bony vertebra of the spine. When an intervertebral disc degenerates, it usually means that it has lost some of its water content and has desiccated or dried out.
An intervertebral disc can have accelerated degeneration following trauma or injury. The internal fibers of the disc can tear from an injury allowing the central disc material to migrate or “herniate,” which is called a disc herniation or disc prolapse. With significant nerve compression and weakness, surgery may be the only option. However, in many cases, chiropractic care may offer resolution without surgery or injections.
In multiple scientific studies of low back pain, chiropractic care has been shown to be a superior treatment option compared to all other medical treatments. In addition, I have been utilizing class IV laser therapy throughout the last 10 years. I have found class IV laser therapy to be highly effective for reducing pain associated with degenerative disc disease and disc herniation. Antioxidant vitamins—including curcumin, resveratrol, boswellia extract and grape seed extract—are also important because they help reduce inflammation associated with back pain.
Dr. Jerry True