Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD) is a degenerative condition of the spine where the natural shock-absorbing discs between each vertebra wear out. This causes the vertebrae to move closer together, causing pressure on nerves and the spinal cord. According to the National Library of Medicine, studies show that the disease increases with age, where 40% of people aged 40 have DDD, while 80% of adults aged 80 suffer from DDD.
If left untreated, DDD can eventually result in irreversible damage to the spinal cord. For those suffering from DDD, surgery can provide relief. But surgeries are expensive. That’s why alternative therapies are gaining popularity. This article discusses five tips to prevent degenerative disc disease.
1. Exercise Daily
Daily exercise reduces your risk of developing degenerative disc disease. Just 30 minutes of any aerobic activity can help keep the spine healthy. If you are overweight or obese, try walking or swimming. Due to the low-impact nature of walking, you don’t have to worry about the strain on your joints. Swimming makes you move your entire body weight while minimizing stress on the back.
2. Eat Right and Sleep Well
Your diet affects how your body functions. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables to provide vitamins and minerals to help protect against DDD. Also, when we work all day long, our bodies become stressed at specific parts of our body that need rest. If you get enough sleep at night, your spine gets less stress. This helps prevent the discs from being damaged.
3. Stop Smoking
As we age, our discs wear down. Those who smoke during the aging process are at a higher risk of developing degenerative disc disease because nicotine constricts blood vessels. That makes your body strain to maintain blood flow, causing damage to the intervertebral discs.
4. Avoid Sitting in the Same Position
Sitting for prolonged periods can make your back suffer more than when standing up. While sitting, ensure that you keep your spine straight and lift your chest away from the chair. Make sure you sit correctly, and your feet do not touch each other.
5. Lift Things Carefully
As we age, our discs wear down. Because of this, it becomes harder to bend and lift heavier objects. Lifting heavy things too much can cause strain on your back. You should always perform these lifts slowly and carefully.
Here at Southern Pain Specialists, we specialize in the DDD. We would love to help you with prevention and live a healthy life.