7 Things To Avoid With Degenerative Disc Disease

Things To Avoid With Degenerative Disc Disease

Back pain is the leading cause of disability in the world. Many more people live with varying degrees of back pain. It can make enjoying life difficult and cause emotional distress along with the physical pain. There are many causes of back pain, and degenerative disc disease is one of the more common conditions. It happens when the discs in your spine, which act like cushions, start to wear down over time. Read on to learn what things to avoid with degenerative disc disease.

As we age, our bodies find it harder to repair themselves, which is why this condition is more commonly seen in older adults. The wearing down of spinal discs can make moving around harder and sometimes uncomfortable.

If you have degenerative disc disease, you may suffer from symptoms such as:

  • Back or neck pain that can range from mild to severe and may get worse when you sit, bend, lift, or twist.
  • Numbness or tingling in your arms or legs, depending on which part of your spine is affected.
  • The muscles in your arms or legs might feel weaker, which can affect your ability to grasp items or maintain balance.
  • It might become harder to move freely because your spine may feel stiff and inflexible.

Having degenerative disc disease means that some activities you used to do comfortably can now cause pain.

Here are seven things to avoid with degenerative disc disease so you can limit further damage and improve pain and function.

1. Heavy lifting

It’s best to avoid heavy lifting, whether that means weights at the gym or picking up heavy items during your day. This can help prevent extra strain on your spine and reduce discomfort. When you do lift objects, make sure you use proper form and keep your back straight as you do it.

2. Sedentary lifestyle

If you are sitting for an extended period of time, it can put more pressure than normal on your spine, leading to pain and added stiffness. Make sure to take regular breaks to stand and stretch and use a chair that provides good lumbar support.

3. Carrying extra body weight

Extra weight adds more pressure and stress on the spine, particularly on the discs. This increased pressure can accelerate the wear and tear on these discs, potentially worsening symptoms. Managing body weight through a balanced diet and appropriate exercise can help.

4. Poor posture

Slouching or maintaining an improper posture stresses the spine and can speed up disc deterioration. Make a conscious effort to maintain good posture, use ergonomic furniture, and keep your back straight and aligned.

5. High-impact activities

Sports that involve a lot of jumping or running can put excessive stress on the spine. Opt for low-impact exercises like swimming or cycling, which can help maintain fitness without worsening your condition.

6. Repetitive bending and twisting

Frequent bending and twisting can worsen back pain and harm your discs. Remember to take breaks often when doing activities requiring these movements, and use tools designed to make the task easier on your back.

7. Ignoring pain

Ignoring back pain can lead to more severe issues if not addressed. It’s important to listen to your body and either rest or modify your activities when you feel discomfort.

Some specific symptoms to watch for, which should be checked by your doctor, include:

  • Back pain that doesn’t improve with rest or continues for more than a few days
  • Pain that gets worse over time, rather than better
  • Pain that spreads to your arms or legs, which might include numbness or tingling
  • A feeling of weakness in your legs or arms
  • Any changes in your ability to control urination or bowel movements

Schedule an Appointment with a Back Pain Specialist

If you suspect that you might have degenerative disc disease, working with a specialist who understands the intricacies of spinal health is the first step. Even if you have focused on things to avoid with degenerative disc disease, they can help make sure you have the best chance of living a pain-free life by tailoring treatment options to your situation.

To get a comprehensive assessment and start on the path to better spinal health – schedule an appointment today!

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