Degenerative disc disease is an age-related condition that occurs when the discs of the vertebrae, located in the spine, deteriorate. Symptoms may include weakness, numbness, and radiating pain. The discs are responsible for absorbing shock, allowing the back to move freely. As they wear out, their ability to protect the vertebrae becomes limited.
For people with the condition, symptoms like nerve and muscle pain, spinal instability, tingling and weakness in the muscles, and neurological symptoms may make it challenging to perform tasks. If your symptoms prevent you from being able to perform your work, having degenerative disc disease could qualify you for unemployment benefits. This is usually decided based on the degree of degeneration experienced.
While degenerative disc disease could require some modifications to your normal routine, however, it is possible to live a normal life with the condition.
Ways to Lead a Normal Life with Degenerative Disc Disease
Finding a supportive team of healthcare professionals is one important pillar of maintaining your quality of life with degenerative disc disease. These experts may recommend the following tactics for controlling symptoms, or a combination thereof:
- Optimizing your posture through physical therapy and ergonomic furniture to reduce pain
- Using heat and cold therapies to control pain levels as needed
- Seeking alternative treatments, such as regenerative medicine.
- Taking over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen
- Staying physically active with low-impact exercise to maintain strength, stamina, and flexibility
- Using physical therapy to maintain strength and range of motion in the back and neck
Thus, even if you have to be out of work for some time or indefinitely, there are many lifestyle tactics and therapies you can explore to feel your best while living with this disease. If you would like to learn more then contact us today and one of our care coordinators will be happy to help!