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Is walking good for degenerative disc disease?

Degenerative disc disease describes the deterioration of the spinal discs as a result of the natural aging process. The spinal discs lose some of their water content and become more brittle as we age, leaving them prone to bulging, tearing or otherwise becoming damaged. A damaged disc can result in a variety of symptoms, including pain, numbness and tingling, especially if the disc comes in contact with a nearby nerve root. If you’re experiencing symptoms of degenerative disc disease or have been diagnosed with this condition, you’ve likely already learned about some of your conservative treatment options. A common recommendation among physicians is to do low-impact exercises on a daily basis.

Walking as a treatment for degenerative disc disease

Walking is a great low-impact, aerobic exercise that can help reduce back pain caused by degenerative disc disease and other spinal conditions. However, it is important to keep a few things in mind to fully benefit from walking as an exercise. For example:

  • Walk every day. To gain the most benefit from walking or any other low-impact exercise, it is important to do this exercise regularly. Ideally, you’ll want to reserve time each day to walk and stay active.
  • Don’t push yourself too hard. Overexertion can lead to injuries or a worsening of symptoms. So, while it is important to exercise daily, you should also be careful not to overdo it.
  • Listen to your body. If walking begins to increase pain or other symptoms, you should stop immediately and consult with a physician.

What if walking and other treatments aren’t helping?

Many individuals are able to incorporate walking or other exercises into their daily routine to help manage their degenerative disc disease symptoms. However, if your symptoms persist or worsen over time, your physician may recommend surgery as the next step. At USA Spine Care, we specialize in minimally invasive spine surgery, which is a safer and effective alternative to traditional open surgery.^

If you would like to find out if one of our outpatient procedures is right for you, we can provide a free MRI review* to help determine if you are a candidate for treatment at USA Spine Care. Contact us today to get started.

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