Conservative Treatments for a Degenerative Spine

What is a Degenerative Spine?

Degenerative spine refers broadly to age-related changes that affect the spinal column, including conditions like degenerative disc disease and arthritis of the spine. To some degree or another, everyone’s spine experiences degeneration due to everyday wear combined with loss of water content. Having a degenerative spine condition may not cause any symptoms at all, or it may only result in minor aches and pains.

Patients seeking degenerative spine treatment are usually experiencing more severe issues, often as a result of compression or irritation of spinal nerve tissue by disc material or a bone spur. These symptoms can be extremely disruptive to your quality of life, making it difficult to work around the house or get a good night’s sleep. In most cases, doctors will recommend a course of conservative treatment to help you manage symptoms while you monitor your condition.

While some of these options, like physical therapy or epidural steroid injections, require office visits, there are also many effective treatments that can be performed from the comfort of your home.

At-Home Treatment Options

At-home degenerative spine treatments include:

  1. Physical therapy exercises. Physical therapists can recommend flexion, extension, and core-strengthening exercises for you to perform at home.
  2. Herbal remedies. Naturally growing substances, including turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon have reported anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties and there is some evidence to support this. Always consult with a reputable herbalist and keep you primary care doctor informed of any supplements you are taking.
  3. Over-the-counter medication. Over-the-counter medication taken as directed can help relieve painful episodes both at home and on the go.
  4. Hot and cold therapy. Alternating use of a heating source with a cold compress is an effective way to relieve pain and inflammation.

Consult with your doctor about any questions you have regarding the best way to balance at-home care with in-office treatments.

Degenerative Spine Treatment with Dr. Keith Girton

Degenerative spine treatment can often be successfully achieved without the need for surgery. Sometimes, surgery may become a consideration if the full range of conservative treatments have been exhausted without bringing relief. If you are looking into surgical options, it is important to know that there are minimally invasive options available. 

BEST Health System is a spine and orthopaedic ambulatory center. Our overall goal is to work with our patients to find the least invasive, most effective treatment option. At our Cincinnati location, Dr. Keith Girton is our dedicated spine surgeon. He specializes in using modern medical technology to perform minimally invasive procedures. This allows for smaller incisions and a shorter recovery, all on an outpatient basis. Contact BEST today to learn more about surgery with Dr. Keith Girton.