Patient Comments: Degenerative Disc Disease & Sciatica - Effective Treatments

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

Comment from: stephjanedavis, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 26

I am a 38 year old female who has just been diagnosed with degenerative disc disease thoracic spine. I am being told that it is probably the result of being on steroids (Prednisone) for over 22 years. The steroids have been and are still being used to treat my severe chronic urticaria (hives) which close my throat up and cause me to have a lot of trouble breathing. The steroids help suppress my immune system which is what I am being told is the cause of my hives. My immune system is "upset" by something and starts attacking itself. I was told about 10 years ago that by the age of 40, with all the steroids that I have taken, I would either have hip replacements or knee replacements or both. This is a very painful disease and do not know what the next steps are as of yet. I am being told that medicines, therapy and possibly braces will be used to treat me at this point.

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Comment from: Debbie, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 09

Shots used to work and now I"m in pain all the time and it"s getting worse.

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Comment from: foxy falla-greaves, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: May 07

I have always been told for 15 year now I have sciatica. Tens year ago it was made worse when I had my second child. Since then the bouts have got worse and lasting long to where I have had this bout for 3 months and 3 weeks. I was in hospital last week and I was told that my symptoms would never go away. I am on a whole list of painkillers anti-inflammatories and tablets to stop the spasming. Miss bee, I would love to exchange more of our stories and find out what and how you have adapted to fit round it.

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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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