At Home Degenerative Disc Disease Exercises
Mild Degenerative Disc Disease Can Be Helped at Home
When the back is young and healthy, the discs found in between the vertebrae provide support, flexibility, and range of motion. Over time, these discs (the spine’s shock absorbers, if you will) start to breakdown and lose their integrity. Although everyone will show some signs of wear and tear on their spinal discs, not everyone will have degenerative disc disease.
Not a disease at all but a condition, degenerative disc disease is one of the most common causes of back or neck pain. An estimated 80 percent of the global population will experience some form of back or neck pain during their lifetime, and one-third of people aged 40-59 show signs of degenerative disc disease (DDD). Treating DDD will depend on a host of factors, including age, state of health, and any other existing conditions. For most people, the main goal is to get the pain associated with this debilitating condition under control. As a pain management clinic, it is our goal to help you find ways to treat whatever symptoms you are living with. DDD is a chronic condition that can get worse if ignored or left untreated. Contact TXP today to learn more about your pain management options.
What is Degenerative Disc Disease?
Degenerative disc disease can affect one or more vertebrae and occur when the rubbery discs that act as protectors become worn and thin. The discs can degenerate with age or because of daily activities that affect the disc, including injuries or trauma.
Some of the most common symptoms of DDD include:
- Pain that ranges from mild and nagging to severe
- Pain in the low back, buttocks, thighs, and hips
- Neck pain that spreads down the arms and hands
- Sitting makes pain worse
- Pain that is made worse by actions like bending, lifting, and twisting
- Pain that dissipates with walking and moving
- Intermittent periods of pain that last for several days to several months
- Numbness and tingling
Self-Care for Degenerative Disc Disease
For mild cases of degenerative disc disease, there are a handful of at-home exercises that may provide relief:
- Towel hamstring stretch – If you have damaged discs in the lumbar spine (low back), one of the best exercises you can do is the towel hamstring stretch. Tight hamstrings can put unnecessary stress on your lower back, so lengthening them can help. This exercise is done by:
- Lie on your back with your legs stretched out long
- Lift your right knee towards your face and wrap the towel around the thigh
- Gently raise your lifted foot towards the ceiling, working to get your leg in an L shape
- Use your breath as a tool as you gently bring your thigh closer to your body
- Repeat on the other side
- Water exercises
- Stationary biking
- Light exercises that strengthen the core (front and back) muscles
Make sure you are only performing low-impact exercises, like yoga, water aerobics, and walking. Listen to your body and never push yourself too hard. To learn more about the above exercises and how they can help with degenerative disc disease, please contact TXP today to schedule an appointment at our pain management clinic in Frisco.