Lumbar degenerative disc disease rehabilitation can be divided as nonsurgical and following surgery. DDD can be aggravated by an on the job accident or DDD can be caused by job duties over time. Accordingly, any rehabilitation plan should take into account the nature of the job duties and what precipitated the aggravation of DDD to the point where medical care was necessary.
Your doctor may recommend that you work with a physical therapist a few times each week for four to six weeks. In some cases, patients may need a few additional weeks of care. The first goal of treatment is to control symptoms. Your therapist will work with you to find positions and movements that ease pain. The therapist may use heat, cold, ultrasound, and electrical stimulation to calm pain and muscle spasm.
The therapist may perform hands-on treatments such as massage and specialized forms of soft-tissue mobilization. These can help a patient begin moving with less pain and greater ease. Spinal manipulation provides short-term relief of degenerative disc symptoms. Commonly thought of as an adjustment, spinal manipulation helps reset the sensitivity of the spinal nerves and muscles, easing pain and improving mobility. It involves a high-impulse stretch of the spinal joints and is characterized by the sound of popping as the stretch is done. It doesn’t provide effective long-term help when used routinely for chronic conditions.
Traction is also a common treatment for degenerative disc problems. Traction gently stretches the low back joints and muscles. Patients are also shown stretches to help them move easier and with less pain.
As you recover, you will gradually advance in a series of strengthening exercises for the abdominal and low back muscles. Working these core muscles helps patients move more easily and lessens the chances of future pain and problems.
A primary purpose of therapy is to help you learn how to take care of your symptoms and prevent future problems. You’ll be given a home program of exercises to continue improving flexibility, posture, endurance, and low back and abdominal strength. The therapist will also discuss strategies you can use if your symptoms flare up.
In Milwaukee, Wisconsin McCormick Law Office attorneys represent workers rehabbing from degenerative disc disease in workers compensation claims. The workers compensation benefits available include temporary total disability, permanent partial disability, loss of earning capacity, retraining, and occasionally permanent total disability benefits. The focus of rehabilitation should return the injured worker to his or her activities of daily living including returning to work. Injured workers want to be productive, contributing members of society and workers compensation benefits are there to help reach that goal.