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Degenerative Disc Disease

Santa Cruz Osteopathic

Richard Bernstein, D.O.

Osteopathic Physician specializing in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation located in Capitola, CA

It’s normal for your spinal discs to wear down over time, making you more vulnerable to disc-related pain and Degenerative Disc Disease. At Santa Cruz Osteopathic in Capitola, California, experienced osteopathic physician Richard Bernstein, D.O., understands the pain of Degenerative Disc Disease. He treats pain using an integrative approach that emphasizes natural recovery. To get relief from your pain, call or book an appointment online today.

Degenerative Disc Disease Q & A

What is Degenerative Disc Disease?

Degenerative Disc Disease is wear-and-tear in your spinal discs. This condition can occur anywhere in your spine and cause serious back or neck pain and other symptoms. 

It’s normal for spinal discs to wear down as you grow older. In fact, most adults have some degree of disc wear after the age of 40. 

Although it’s uncommon, Degenerative Disc Disease can start as early as age 20 This can happen if you experience an injury that affects your spinal discs or if you inherited poor spinal health.

Other factors can also contribute to spinal disc degeneration, such as sports injuries or small disc tears. Because your discs don’t have a regular blood supply, they don’t repair themselves naturally. This means that even a small tear can accelerate disc degeneration.

What are the signs of Degenerative Disc Disease?

Degenerative Disc Disease can cause back pain, neck pain, or both. In some cases, you may also experience other symptoms, such as tingling, numbness, and arm or leg weakness, as well. Your symptoms may come and go or they could be fairly constant. 

If you have Degenerative Disc Disease, you may have increased pain when you’re sitting or immediately after you make a sharp movement like bending or twisting. Sometimes the pain radiates as far down as your thighs. 

What is the best treatment for Degenerative Disc Disease?

In most cases, you can treat Degenerative Disc Disease without surgery. At Santa Cruz Osteopathic, Dr. Bernstein tailors your Degenerative Disc Disease care to your needs. He uses an integrative approach that helps you enjoy better whole-body health. 

Your treatments may include:

Osteopathic Manual Medicine

In Osteopathic Manual Medicine, Dr. Bernstein uses hands-on manipulation like stretching, resistance, and light pressure to reduce your pain and recover your function.

Regenerative medicine

In regenerative medicine treatments, stem cells regenerate your damaged discs with an infusion of new, healing cells. This reduces inflammation and reduces your pain and other symptoms. 

Spinal decompression therapy

In spinal decompression therapy with the SpineMED® system, Dr. Bernstein uses precise computerized adjustments to move the section of your spine where your discs are degenerating. This relieves pressure and allows your discs to get blood flow that helps them start the repair process.  

Dr. Bernstein may also recommend a therapeutic exercise program to boost your range of motion and improve your spinal support. 

For expert Degenerative Disc Disease treatment, call Santa Cruz Osteopathic or book an appointment online today.