6 Best Ways to Prevent Degenerative Disc Disease

Degenerative disc disease is primarily an age-related process in which the shock-absorbing cushion between adjacent spinal vertebrae degrades.

There is no pill that can simply prevent your DDD. The key to slowing the progression of degenerative spinal changes is to reduce the effects of day-to-day wear and tear on your spine and other joints.

But don't worry if you're stumped on how to treat degenerative disc disease. Here are the best common practices for managing your spine's wellness in the context of DDD.

1. Be physically active 

Any spine specialist will tell you that stretching is the most important thing you can do to prevent degenerating discs. Essentially, this means putting your joints through their full range of motion on a regular basis. They will most likely advise you to strengthen your muscles, particularly your back and core muscles. Finally, they will most likely advise you to engage in regular aerobic activity, with walking being the first option.

Make it a habit to exercise in proper form. Activity, exercise, and especially strength training are only as effective as your posture and alignment. Maintaining proper form also aids in avoiding neck and back strain.

2. Use good form and employ body mechanics 

Keeping your mechanics in mind is also a great way to achieve a balance between the muscle groups that are designed to move those joints. Muscle balance is one of several key contributors to disc and spine wellness because it helps reduce or avoid undue pressure on joints, in case you didn't know.

A lack of muscle balance throughout the body leads to increased joint wear and tear, which, as previously stated, is the primary precursor to the arthritic, degenerative changes that occur in the spine as we age.

Avoiding over-reliance on your spine when doing heavy work is a key rule of thumb for protecting your discs from injury and subsequent degeneration. This piece of advice can be applied to a variety of activities, including gardening, climbing stairs, lifting objects, and maintaining good posture while sitting at a computer. It's a great foundational skill to master for use in everyday life.

3. Give up smoking 

It is well known that smoking is linked to a variety of health issues. Disc degeneration is one of them.

Your smoking habits may also aggravate your back pain. Although research is ongoing, it is widely assumed that smoking increases pain perception. A 2016 study, for example, discovered that male smokers who underwent major surgery required more pain relievers post-operatively than non-smokers.

4. Maintain a healthy weight 

Consider dropping to your ideal weight if you aren't already. This is easier said than done for most of us. However, carrying less weight on your body means less pressure on your joints and discs. Being overweight at a young age is especially harmful to disc health.

5. Balance manual labor and being sedentary 

What you do for a living has an impact on your back and your chances of developing DDD. This group includes people from all walks of life, from computer workers to manual laborers.

According to most experts, occupations that are neither sedentary nor physically demanding to provide the best chance of preventing or slowing degenerative spinal changes.

If you are sedentary, you are unlikely to build much muscle strength. Strong muscles, on the other hand, may help relieve pressure on your discs. Furthermore, muscle weakness may promote muscle tension, which frequently results in pain.

6. Improve your diet 

Taking supplements and herbal remedies will not prevent or slow the progression of degenerative disc disease. However, a healthy diet and possibly some supplements, including herbs, may contribute indirectly to the health of your discs.

Foods and supplements that support the musculoskeletal system may aid in disc preservation. Vitamin D is most likely the most beneficial. Another nutritional strategy is to try to reduce inflammation in the body.

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