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Degenerative disc disorder is due to degeneration of the inter-vertebral disc of the spine. It is a condition that can be painful and can affect the person's quality of life in varying degrees.
Disc degeneration can cause severe constant chronic pain for certain individuals.
Signs and Symptoms:
If degeneration occurs in the lumbar spine, patient could suffer from low back pain, sciatic pain, hip pain, pain radiating to legs, tingling and numbness of foot or toes, and so on.
If degeneration occurs in the cervical spine, patient could suffer from occipital headaches, neck and or shoulder pain, numbness and tingling of fingers, and so on.
Diagnosis is usually done by signs and symptoms verification and X-Ray or MRI.
Treatment of DDD with Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine:
According to TCM whenever there is pain, the cause is obstruction of Qi or Blood or both. Acupuncture can unblock the Qi obstruction, and increase circulation of blood to the local area of the pain.
If the patient has cervical DDD, acupuncture is performed on the neck, upper back and surrounding areas. Acupuncture can help the flow of Qi, so there will be less inflammation around the disc and gradually the pain or numbness of fingers may go away. Several visits must be made before noticeable results are seen. Chinese herbal medicine can also be used to reduce inflammation and pain, or to increase circulation of Qi and blood. Certain supplements can also be added to the treatment plan to support body's collagen production and regenerate the disc.
In case of lumbar DDD, acupuncture is performed mostly on the lower back and buttock or leg areas. This will stop the pain and increase circulation to the disc area. After few visits patient will notice a marked reduction of sciatic pain and low back pain. Numbness and tingling of toes and fingers may go away some time later.
Acupuncture research for lumbar pain and sciatica:
Fifty cases of sciatica were treated by Acupuncture, After 3 courses of treatment, 31 cases got cured, 16 cases had marked improvement, 3 cases relatively improved, and the total effective rate was 100%.
[General Hospital of Tianjin Medical University, 300052 Tianjin, China, 2005 Mar]