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Four tips for managing degenerative disc disease through exercise

While it may seem counterintuitive, certain low-impact exercises are a form of treatment commonly recommended for patients with degenerative disc disease. This spine condition can make performing simple daily tasks seem impossible, so you may be surprised to find out that exercise, when performed correctly and carefully, can actually help relieve your symptoms. However, exercise is a great way to strengthen the muscles that surround and support the spine, which can help to reduce the amount of stress on the spine and relieve the symptoms of degenerative disc disease.

It is important to note that not all forms of exercise are appropriate for patients with degenerative disc disease. For example, lifting heavy weights, or even lifting light weights with improper technique, can do the spine more harm than good. Those using exercise as a form of treatment for degenerative disc disease should keep these tips in mind throughout the duration of their treatment:

  1. Do not try any new exercises without consulting with your physician. Your physician will be able to tell you which exercises could help you manage your symptoms, as well as which exercises you should stay away from to avoid aggravating them.
  2. Follow your physician’s instructions exactly. This means both in terms of how often you should exercise, as well as the exact techniques you should employ.
  3. Listen to your body. If you experience pain or discomfort while exercising, stop immediately and consult with your physician.
  4. Take it slow. Those who led an active lifestyle prior to the onset of their degenerative disc disease may find it difficult to slow down, but taking on too much too soon will only exacerbate your condition.

What if exercise does not help relieve my degenerative disc disease symptoms?

If exercise and other nonsurgical methods of degenerative disc disease treatment do not sufficiently manage your symptoms, you may be advised to undergo surgery, such as the minimally invasive outpatient surgery available at USA Spine Care. We are the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery and more than 75,000 patients have turned to us for relief from their neck or back pain. To learn about the advantages our procedures offer compared to open spine surgery, contact USA Spine Care today. We will also provide a free MRI review* to determine if you are a candidate for our procedures.

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