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Exercises to avoid with a degenerative spine

If you have been diagnosed with a degenerative spine condition, such as spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease or spinal osteoarthritis, then you’ve probably been told that staying active is key to preserving your spinal health and managing your symptoms. It’s true — engaging in regular low-impact exercise can strengthen your core and elongate the muscles that support your spine, helping you stay active and participate in more of the activities you enjoy. However, there are exceptions. Certain exercises and movements may place undue strain on your spine and should be avoided.

What is a degenerative spine?

First, let’s review the definition of a degenerative spine. This term is used to describe a variety of conditions that are related to the body’s natural aging process. As years go by, discs, facet joints and other components of the spine begin to wear down and become more brittle, potentially causing pain, stiffness and other symptoms. Everyone will experience some level of spinal degeneration in their lives, but there are steps you can take to ensure your spine stays healthy for as long as possible. For example, you can avoid high-impact exercise.

What high-impact exercises should I stay away from?

High-impact exercise usually involves jumping and jarring or strenuous movements. Here are a few examples of this type of exercise:

  • Jogging
  • Lifting heavy weights
  • Jumping jacks
  • Burpees
  • Jumping rope
  • Contact sports

Consider swapping these exercises for low-impact activities, like walking in supportive shoes, swimming laps, stationary cycling or Pilates. Using an elliptical machine or trying water aerobics are also great ways to get a nice workout without putting your spine at risk.

Many degenerative spine patients are able to effectively manage their symptoms with a combination of low-impact exercise and conservative treatment. However, if your discomfort persists despite trying these methods for several weeks or months, then you may be a candidate for surgical treatment. The board-certified surgeons+ at USA Spine Care take an advanced approach to degenerative spine treatment that offers several benefits over traditional open spine surgery.^ If you’d like to learn if you are a candidate for our minimally invasive outpatient procedures, then ask our team how you can receive a free MRI review.*

Contact USA Spine Care today to discover how we can help you Stand Tall.®

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