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Home » Spine Conditions » Degenerative Disc Disease » Can you still work when you have degenerative disc disease?

Can you still work when you have degenerative disc disease?

If you’re experiencing pain associated with degenerative disc disease, you might be wondering whether your discomfort will worsen if you perform your regular job duties, or whether it would be better to simply take a break. For answers to these and other questions relating to your diagnosis and treatment, your best source is a physician who is familiar with your circumstances and can provide personalized advice and guidance.

With that said, USA Spine Care can provide some general information about degenerative disc disease and how it may affect your daily routine. This relatively common condition can cause your spinal discs to gradually deteriorate over time. As your discs break down, they can become even more vulnerable to the damaging effects of wear and tear. A bulging, herniated or otherwise damaged disc can irritate or pinch a spinal nerve, which can cause a number of symptoms, including pain, numbness, tingling sensations and muscle weakness. This means that degenerative disc disease may cause discomfort that affects your ability to do your job.

Factors that can affect your ability to work with a degenerative spine condition

Before clearing you to work with degenerative disc disease, your physician will likely take into account several factors, including your:

  • Employment-related activities. If you regularly perform tasks that could strain your spine, such as lifting or carrying heavy objects, your physician may advise you to avoid these activities until your discomfort subsides.
  • Mobility requirements. To manage your pain, you may find that you need to frequently change body positions, which could interfere with your work if your job requires you to sit or stand for prolonged periods of time.
  • Medication use. If you have severe pain, your physician may prescribe medication for you. Because some pain relievers can cause side effects, such as drowsiness and dizziness, your physician may advise you not to drive or operate machinery while taking them.

How much time would you need to take off for surgery?

If you decide to have degenerative disc disease surgery, you should know that your recovery time can vary depending on the surgical technique used and other factors. In general, there are two main surgical approaches: traditional open spine surgery and minimally invasive outpatient surgery. Because the traditional approach is highly invasive, the recovery period that follows can be lengthy. Alternatively, minimally invasive spine surgery is performed through small incisions, which can result in less muscle disruption and, in turn, a lower risk of complications and faster recovery.^

The skilled surgeons at USA Spine Care perform minimally invasive spine surgery as a safer and effective alternative to traditional open spine surgery to address degenerative disc disease.^ If you’re interested, contact us to request a no-cost MRI review.* We can explain your options and help you determine if you are a candidate for our minimally invasive outpatient surgery.

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