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Suggestions for Degenerative Disc Disease
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Suggestions for Degenerative Disc Disease

Hi there,

I am wondering about natural pain management treatments for disc disease. I have three herniated disks and bad facets. I have taken myself off the pain killers over the past month because my tolerance had increased so much that I was taking them every day. This has been going on for 3 years. The problems is that I cannot take any NSAIDs because of an ulcer. So painkillers and anti-inflammatories are out.

Do you have luck with anything natural? Have you found an anti-inflammatory diet helps much?

Any tips would be very appreciated. I am feeling my first flare up starting since coming off the pain medicine and DO NOT want to go back on unless absolutely necessary. So far over the past 2 days I have iced, taken hot baths, stretched, done everything I can.

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6 Comments Post a Comment
Avatar f tn
Hi Megan,

Welcome to the Pain Management Forum and I want you to know that we are glad that you have found us. As you probably already know there are NO Doctors on here ONLY CP (Chronic Pain )_ Patients.

I've read some of your other posts and see what you have accomplished.  You have done an amazing job of getting off of your meds.

I am not the person to answer your questions on meds other than Opiates as I am on the Patch. I have a feeling that my DDD  is more advanced than yours is. I hope that you can hold yours at the level that it is. I am on the Fentanyl Patch and Percocets.

Unfortunately, my pain is consistent and has been for MANY years. About 12 years or more. I hope that you can find something that will enable you to treat your pain without the meds for awhile. That would be wonderful for you.

Have you consulted with your Doctor about this and explained your thinking on this? He might be able to get you to the Dr. that can help you. I know that my PCP has a Dr. in his practice that likes to deal in Homeopathic treatment. There's possibly one that your Physician might also know.

You might also try getting an RFA for the Facet Joints IF they are at that stage yet. RFA is Radial Fractory Ablation and kills the Nerves for anywhere from 3 moths to 18 mo. SOMETIMES 24 mo. I've had one and mine is working GREAT!!

If you keep checking back I'm sure that someone on here might have some other ideas for you.

I wish you the best and again CONGRATULATIONS on accomplishing what you have!! I hope that you will keep us updated as I'm sure that others on here will also be VERY interested in finding out what you have found out.

Best of Luck. Looking forward to your next update....Sherry
Avatar m tn
Hi Sherry,

Thank you so much for your message. I had hoped I would make it a couple months before things got bad, but I suppose it is not surprising that with the lack of sleep, physical and emotional stress on my body, etc. of the past couple weeks that my body is revolting! :)

I can still walk, which is good. But the pain has gone into my knee already, which is bad.

I did notice that after I felt better stomach-wise I ate like a maniac - chips, soda, candy, tons of nasty stuff that I don't normally want. It felt very reactive, ya know? Perhaps that put me over the edge, considering all of that is a definite no-no on any of the anti-inflammatory diets (I suppose any diet actually).

thanks again so much for your suggestions. I will look into some of the things you recommended.


Avatar f tn
HI Megan,

If you are a candidate for the RFA (it's done in the Dr.'s office) you stand a VERY good chance of being pain free from your DDD. As I said for up to  18 to 24 months. I'm having NO LEG PAINS or BACK PAINS caused by the DDD. I am having pain from the artificial hip that has to be repaired in September because it was inserted improperly. There IS a d HUGE difference in the type of pain that it causes.

I so hope that you are able to get relief from your pain without having to go back on the meds yet. Eventually as it gets worse you probably won't have a choice. However, the longer that you can put them off of course the better for you.

Please stay active on here and keep us updated because you can give a lot of people  information about the choices that are out there that you have found for treatment other than medication.

I wish you the very best and am anxious to see what you find out.....Sherry
1301089 tn?1290670171
There is a non narcotic pain reliever for those of us with ulcers.  I take it and have had wonderful results from it.  It does not upset my stomach.  Taking this medication will allow you to take NSAIDS without the stomach damage.  But I don't need NSAIDS often with this.

Having said that, it is hugely important that you discuss this and any medications with your doctor.  You absolutely should remember we're not doctors.  Everyone reacts to medications differently.  It may not be suitable for you at all.  You must weigh the pros and cons of it very carefully.

If you are interested, let me know.  You can send me a pm if you are.

Avatar f tn
I take Protonix with my Mobic because NSAIDS hurt my stomach horribly. It was not confirmed that I had an ulcer but my PM added the ulcer medicine just in case. It works amazing. I never have stomach pains after taking Mobic anymore. Still not sure if the Mobic is helping but at least it's not killing my stomach.
547368 tn?1440545385
Hello Megan,

Welcome to MedHelp's Pain Mangement Forum. I am so glad that you found us and took the time to post. You indeed aer courageous and I admire your strength and determination to seek other forms of pain managment. Bless your heart.

DDD can be a very painful and crippling disease process. There are alternative treatments available. How successful they are depends on the individual and how their body responds to alternative treatments.

IIn my area of the country there are holistic clinics with some good physicians that beleive in what they practice. I encourage you to search your area to determine if one is available to you.

I do not have DDD, my mother does but I do have facet joint disease, in several areas. It can be very painful. Have you tried a TENS Unit? Sometimes they can be effective.

There is also an OTC treatment called Thermacare. It's a disposable warming wrap type of product that maintains penetrating warmth for up to 12 hours. It's unlike the usual smelly rubs or the sticky little patches. It's a bit more costly but I think worth every cent. There is one that wraps around any portion of your back that I use often. I am not sure it's proper to endorse products here but you might want to ask your pharmacist about it. It can be found in most major department stores and pharmacies.  

As Sherry suggested some ppl find RFA (radio frequency ablation) effective in reducing their facet joint pain, other's do not. Dr Jim Humphries, B.S., D.V.M. is not an ppl's doctor but he recently underwent this procedure and shared it with us. If you note his name on the right side of this page under, "Recent Doctor's Visits" and follow his link  you will find some awesome information on the procedure and the his amazing results. It may be under one of his journal entries. If you have any problem locating it please let me know. He suffers from facet joint disease and may also have DDD. At any rate it is worth the read. He's a very interesting writer.

Please let us know how you are doing. We are here if you need more information or support or even if you just need to vent. We are good listeners and our ears are always open. :)  So please keep in touch.

Take Care,
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