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Are prescription medications available for degenerative disc disease?

We typically recommend over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications or some prescription anti-inflammatory medications, depending on the severity of the pain. This is usually the first line of treatment. There are stronger medications that should be only used under the guidance of your physician such as pain medications or muscle relaxants, which can help ease the pain. These need to be monitored carefully and only used with the approval and recommendation from your doctor.

Dr. Langston T. Holly, MD
Neurosurgeon

Most medications treat the symptoms of degenerative disc disease rather than the disease itself. Some treatments include anti-inflammatory medications, steroids, narcotics and neuropathic pain medications, and generally are used to treat pain or other symptoms related to the degenerative disc disease. In some cases, medications can be used to help treat any metabolic conditions that could be associated with the degenerative disc disease such as osteoporosis. Additionally, supplements such as vitamin D and calcium are important to maintain spine health.

Prescription medications for degenerative disc disease include steroids, analgesics, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and muscle relaxers. Steroids treat the pain of degenerative disc disease by reducing inflammation. Your doctor may also prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, which reduce inflammation and relieve pain. Prescription-strength analgesics provide pain relief only, and muscle relaxers work to stop spasms.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.