Patient Comments: Degenerative Disc Disease & Sciatica - Effective Treatments

What treatments have been effective for your degenerative disc disease or sciatica?

Comment from: Chaz, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: April 05

I am 39 years old and think my life is over already. I have DDD in my lower lumbar region. It hurts so much. I went to a chiropractor for some time, but now the pain is back again. I don't know what to do. I'm taking painkillers, but they only work sometimes. The rest of the days I suffer. I can now walk only for 10 minutes or so and then have to lie down. My 6-year-old son asked me the other day if he could have a sister. Could I ever be pregnant again and bear the weight of my baby? Will it ever happen? Maybe I'm a bit emotional now. I don't want to give up, but I don't know what to do. Are there any other ways to get rid of this pain and get my life back to normal?

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Comment from: mrbird, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 25

I am 59 years old and in the last five months have been diagnosed with degenerative disc disease. The pain has been horrendous. It has affected both of my hips, buttocks, and legs all the way to my feet. Since my job is to hike fourth graders in the mountains, I was desperate to find some help. My doctor had me on steroids orally and as soon as I would take them, within a few hours, the pain would go away because the swelling would go down. Because of this, she recommended epidural injections in the spine at the area where the inflammation is occurring. I was hesitant, but last week, I went in for the shots, and it has been a godsend. The doctor uses a portable X-ray machine over the area where he is going to inject the steroids. (They gave me slight anesthesia as needed, and even though it was a little painful, the results have been tremendous.) I can move, walk, get out of bed, whatever. I still have to take it a little easy, but I have my life back. Also, I have been going to physical therapy for strengthening exercises. That has helped tremendously as well. You must get your back muscles strong as well as learn how not to bend, etc....this is definitely worth doing. The epidermals do not always help everyone, but for the most part, I have heard very good success stories. The medication also helps to break up the proteins in the inflamed area, which allows more movement for strengthening.

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Comment from: Einjk, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 11

I was just told by my doctor that I have degenerative disc disease (DDD). I am in terrible pain, from my lower back to my hips, and down both legs. I can hardly walk, and standing is a chore, as it can only be done for short periods of time. I also have pain in my groin area. I can't believe the amount of pain involved with this. I can no longer do anything but sit, or lie down for short periods of time. I have major spasms that cause me to scream in pain. I have always managed pain quite well, as I also have other diseases that come with their fair share of pain. This, however, has dropped me to my knees. Once I am in bed, getting out of bed is a real chore too. I spend most of my time sleeping in my recliner. I am a 57-year-old woman. From what I have seen so far in the last two months, it looks as if most of my life is over, or any good parts anyway.

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Published: February 11

I was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease (DDD) three years ago. I have been prescribed all kinds of pain medications, and I have gone to chiropractors. I also have had the shots in my spine, and nothing has seemed to help. They help for a while but only for a short while. I have been unable to find work. I have been unemployed for two years. i have been advised by my doctor not to lift more than 10 pounds, and most employers won't hire unless you are able to lift 50 pounds.

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Comment from: Peg, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 02

I am experiencing severe pain in my left leg. I was told six years ago that I have severe DDD, stenosis, and obvious sciatica. I was doing alright until yesterday. The exercise class I am in was very difficult even though it is for senior citizens. I'm suffering for trying to keep up. My left leg has been giving out on me since yesterday. I almost went back to the class today, but I decided I better take it easy.

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Comment from: livingdaily, 55-64 Female Published: December 02

I have been diagnosed with degenerative disc disease (DDD). It has been 16 years since my first surgery (C5-6), and the graft fractured after five years. The second C5-6 surgery replaced the graft with a graft plug and titanium plate. The constant nerve pain is a daily adventure. I get violent migraines if my neck decides it didn't like bending or picking up something. I had two lumbar surgeries as well. I am disabled and hate the fact my life changed, and no one really understands how it controls your life. I understand how horrible it is to live with pain. You just have to deal and try to be happy as best you can.

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Comment from: ccsbabycakes, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 28

I am a 40 year old who has had degenerative disc disease and sciatica pain since 1997 resulting from an injury I suffered being a certified nursing assistant.I have tried heat, cold, massage, physical therapy, going to the gym, pain pills, tens unit, water therapy, you name it I tried it nothing has helped me. Then one night my husband just happened to grab my feet and gently pull them towards him, instant relief no pain the first time in 10 years I was pain free. So my advice on what to try would be some sort of traction device.

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