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Four tips for slowing down degenerative spine disorders

Degenerative spine conditions are rather common, affecting many people in various ways as they get older. On a daily basis, the spine sustains a significant amount of wear and tear, and this tends to add up over time. Bones can grow brittle, discs can become prone to damage and cartilage can slowly wear away, leading to degenerative conditions such as spinal osteoarthritis, herniated discs, pinched nerves and bone spurs. Yet, while it’s not possible to completely stop the process of spinal degeneration, there are several ways to limit its effects.

Maintain a healthy body weight

One of the most important factors in limiting the effects of spinal degeneration is maintaining a healthy weight. Because the spine carries most of the body’s weight, excess pounds can lead to unnecessary stress.

Avoid tobacco products and limit alcohol consumption

Tobacco products can interfere with healthy circulation, making degenerative spine conditions more pronounced and preventing damaged areas from getting the restorative nutrients they need. And, while alcohol doesn’t have quite the same effect, it can promote inflammation and make symptoms more pronounced.

Choose nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory foods

Much like drinking alcoholic beverages, eating large amounts of fried foods, red and processed meats and dairy products can increase inflammation in a degenerative spine. On the other hand, a diet that focuses on leafy green vegetables, fruits, fish, minimally processed whole grains and inflammation-reducing plant oils can provide meaningful benefits.

Stay active

While a degenerative spine condition can make exercise more challenging, staying active is still highly important. Low-impact exercises such as swimming or cycling are recommended, as are stretching and strengthening exercises to support the muscles in the neck and back. High-impact activities such as running, contact sports and weightlifting should be avoided, however.

Even with the most well intentioned lifestyle changes, some people still experience significant activity limitations as a result of spinal degeneration. In these instances, surgical treatment might be recommended if conservative therapies do not produce the desired results. At USA Spine Care, we perform minimally invasive outpatient surgery for patients with a number of degenerative spine conditions. To find out if you’re a candidate for degenerative spine surgery at USA Spine Care, contact us today.

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