Degenerative Disc Disease & Sciatica - Effective Treatments

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

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How is radiculopathy treated?

The treatment of degenerative disc disease, radiculopathy, and sciatica ranges from nonsurgical (medical) management to surgery. Medical management of radiculopathy includes patient education of the condition, medications to relieve pain and muscles spasm, cortisone injection around the spinal cord (epidural injection), physical therapy (heat, exercises, massage, ultrasound, electrical stimulation), chiropractic manipulation and rest (not strict bed rest, but avoiding reinjury). With unrelenting pain, severe impairment of function, or incontinence (which can indicate spinal cord irritation), surgery may be necessary. The operation performed depends on the overall status of the spine and the age and health of the patient. Procedures include removal of the herniated disc with laminotomy (producing a small hole in the bone of the spine surrounding the spinal cord), laminectomy (removal of the bony wall adjacent to the nerve tissues), by needle technique through the skin (percutaneous discectomy), disc-dissolving procedures (chemonucleolysis), and others.

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Comment from: paul, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: October 06

Sciatica for me turned out to be an easy fix. I had a severe case for a while, tried all kind of medications, and relief was very temporary. I found a stretching exercise that did the job; takes a couple of days but it worked. Now whenever I start to feel any pain I just repeat the exercise. Lie on your back, and whatever side the problem is on bring that knee with leg bent till its pointing at the ceiling. Then fold it over your body pulling down on it with the opposite hand stretching the nerve. Work it as much as you can stand, about a minute, then relax your leg and foot back to the floor. Then bend your leg to your chest and back to the floor 10 times. Repeat this twice a day, it really works.

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Comment from: Karen Jayne, 19-24 Female (Caregiver) Published: October 26

I am looking after a young girl (23) who has been diagnosed with AS (ankylosing spondylitis). Her lower spine is already fusing together and she now has a curvature on the upper spine L2 and L3. She is now receiving infusions every 6 weeks of Remicade and she has been put on every kind of pain killer, sleeping pills, anti-depression pills, etc. She is also on 120 mg of Cymbalta. Nothing has taken the pain away or made it even slightly better for her to be able to work. They seem to have just given up and told her to claim disability. At her age, depression is a big issue as she has pretty much been told she is not going to have a good life. I have been on Kadian for 18 years now for fibromyalgia and would not be able to function. I wonder if this medication would be able to help her for pain control at all. The doctor has just taken her off trazodone and Tramacet and has replaced it with Lyrica. Beats me!

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