skip to Main Content

10 Things to Avoid with Degenerative Disc Disease


Living with degenerative disc disease can be challenging, as it often involves managing pain and discomfort on a daily basis. Degenerative disc disease is a condition where the discs between the vertebrae of the spine start to break down, causing pain, weakness, or numbness. While there are many strategies to manage and treat this condition, it’s equally important to know what things to avoid with degenerative disc disease to prevent it from worsening.

1. Heavy Lifting and Straining

Lifting heavy objects can put a significant strain on your spine, especially if you have degenerative disc disease. It’s crucial to avoid lifting anything that might be too heavy for you. If you must lift, wear the right shoes and use proper techniques: keep your back straight, bend at the knees, and lift with your leg muscles, not your back.

2. Poor Posture

Poor posture can put unnecessary pressure on your spine and discs. Slouching, leaning forward for prolonged periods, or sitting in an unsupportive chair can all contribute to discomfort. Try to maintain a neutral spine position, and use ergonomic furniture that supports your back.

3. High-impact Activities

High-impact exercises and sports, such as running, basketball, or football, can jolt and stress your spine. Instead, opt for low-impact activities like swimming, walking, or cycling, which are gentler on your spine.

4. Repetitive Motions

Repetitive motions, especially those involving twisting or bending of the spine, can aggravate degenerative disc disease. Be mindful of your activities at work and home, and try to minimize repetitive strain on your back.

5. Smoking

Smoking has been shown to exacerbate back pain and can accelerate the degeneration of spinal discs. The nicotine in cigarettes restricts blood flow to the discs, hindering their ability to absorb nutrients and heal.

6. Ignoring Pain

Ignoring or pushing through pain can lead to further injury. Listen to your body. If certain activities cause pain, take a break or find an alternative way to perform them.

7. Inadequate Nutrition

A diet lacking in essential nutrients can impair your body’s ability to heal and maintain healthy discs. Ensure you’re getting enough calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D for bone health, as well as other vital nutrients.

8. Prolonged Inactivity

While it’s important to avoid activities that strain your back, prolonged inactivity can also be harmful. Regular, gentle exercise is crucial for maintaining spine health and flexibility.

9. Stress and Tension

Stress can lead to muscle tension, particularly in the back, neck, and shoulders, exacerbating pain from degenerative disc disease. Practice stress-reduction techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, or yoga.

10. Ignoring Medical Advice

Lastly, ignoring the advice of your healthcare provider can hinder your management of degenerative disc disease. It’s important to follow their recommendations, whether it’s regarding physical therapy, exercises, medications, or lifestyle changes.

What You SHOULD Do: Consult The Spine Pro, Dr. Hooman Melamed

Now that we’ve covered things to avoid with degenerative disc disease, it’s crucial to work with a healthcare professional to manage your condition effectively. At The Spine Pro, Dr. Hooman Melamed specializes in providing expert care and personalized treatment plans for individuals with back pain. Reach out for guidance and support in managing your condition. Request an appointment online or call 424-21-SPINE.