Degenerative disc disease is a common disorder that affects the lower portion of the spine. Approximately 85% of the American population who are 50 and older show signs of disc degeneration. Fortunately for you, there are four natural remedies that can relieve the pain associated with degenerative disc disease.
Bring on the Pain
While it may seem counterproductive, a little bit of pain is good for the body. Consider activities that increase your pain level ever so slightly such as cardio related exercises, as long as you do not strain your back further. Pain allows your body to release a natural painkiller known as endorphins. When you feel pain, your body sends a signal to the brain, which triggers the release of hormones.
The hormones released by your body provide an effect that is similar to morphine. In other words, endorphins are your body's natural form of morphine. Aside from pain, there are other ways you can convince your body to release endorphins. Try out activities that gets the blood rushing such as stretching, exercise and bicycling.
Healthy exercise can trigger the release of endorphins, thereby decreasing the pain you experience with degenerative disc disease. Using an exercise as a means of releasing endorphins could provide additional benefits. For example, exercise builds strong muscles, which can help support your weakening spine.
Manipulate the Source
As the discs in your spine continue to weaken, it can cause them to pinch together. Pinched places in your spine cause pressure to build, which can lead to significant lower back pain. Fortunately, spinal manipulation can maneuver your spine in order to reduce spinal pressure.
Visit your local chiropractor to experience the pain relieving benefits of spinal manipulation. Degenerative disc disease can severely limit your range of motion, making it difficult or you to sit, stand or even walk comfortably. Spinal manipulation helps to improve your range of motion, making it easier for you to enjoy normal day-to-day activities.
The chiropractor will maneuver the spine in order to reduce pressure, which helps to alleviate pain. Although chiropractic treatment is not enough to treat the disease, it can make the pain manageable. Since chiropractors use massage and manipulation to relieve pain, it is considered a natural form of pain relief.
Stretch it Out
When you suffer from back pain, the spine and muscles may feel stiff and achy. Stretching helps to warm your muscles, loosening them, so you do not feel pain. Consider stretching your hamstrings, which are the muscles located in the back of the thighs. Stiff hamstrings can impact your posture and the way you walk, which can increase the pain in your lower back.
You should not experience additional pain while stretching. Never push your body past its limits and do not contort yourself into unmanageable positions. Stretch your muscles slowly and hold the position for 20 to 30 seconds.
Slow stretching allows your muscles to get used to the new position. When you relieve the stiffness of achy muscles, you experience less pain. Stretch a few times a day to decrease the pain associated with degenerative disc disease.
Heat it Up
Heat is often used to relieve pain. Arthritis sufferers often apply heat to stiff and painful joints and muscles. Use a heating pad or a bottle full of hot water and apply it to your lower back.
The heat will penetrate deep beneath the skin in order to target the aching muscles. Heat relieves tension around the spine, allowing you to experience pain-free movement. In order to successfully relieve your pain with heat, try the following methods:
- Hot bath: Soak in a hot bath or shower, allowing the muscles in your spine to relax. You can relax under the hot water for as long as you like. In addition to a hot bath or shower, you can also try soaking in a hot tub. The heat and massaging bubbles can have a relaxing effect on your spine.
- Rice pack: You can make your own heat pack by sewing rice into a pouch. Place the race pack in the microwave for 30 seconds to a minute. Once heated, rest the rice pack across your lower back. Lie face down and allow the heat to penetrate deep within the muscles surrounding your spine.
- Electric blanket: An electric blanket provides warmth on cold winter nights. If you have an electric blanket, you can use it like you would a heating pad. Roll the blanket up and place it beneath your back.
Natural remedies can help relieve pain associated with degenerative disc disease, but none of the methods will stop or slow the disease. Work closely with your physician and your chiropractor to manage both the disease and the pain. Managing degenerative disc disease and the pain associated with it can help you live a normal, active lifestyle.