Degenerative disc disease is a common affliction that affects many individuals, particularly those over the age of 50. It can cause persistent pain, decreased mobility, and interfere with daily activities. Knowing what not to do if you have degenerative disc disease is essential to prevent exacerbating the condition.
Avoid Sitting for Long Periods
Extended periods of sitting can exacerbate pain and stiffness when you have degenerative disc disease. This is because of how sitting adds pressure to your spine. If your job or daily routine involves sitting for long periods, try incorporating regular breaks to stand and stretch. Alternative seating options, such as standing desks or stability balls, can also alleviate strain on your back.
Avoid Inflammatory Foods
A healthy diet is vital for overall well-being, but it becomes even more critical when dealing with degenerative disc disease. You should avoid inflammatory foods, like processed meats, fried foods, sugars, and refined carbs. Opt for anti-inflammatory foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon or chia seeds, and a diet full of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to support overall joint health.
Don’t Lift Carelessly
Lifting heavy objects carelessly or without proper technique can further strain your spinal discs, worsening degenerative disc disease symptoms. Always use proper lifting techniques to protect your back, such as bending at the knees, keeping objects close to your body, and avoiding twisting your spine. If an item is too heavy, break it into smaller loads or ask for assistance.
Don’t Jump Right Into High-Impact Exercise
While exercise is essential for maintaining mobility and overall health, avoid high-impact activities that could exacerbate symptoms of degenerative disc disease. Activities like running, basketball, or high-impact aerobics can lead to increased strain on your discs, worsening pain, and discomfort. Instead, opt for low-impact exercises like swimming, cycling, or walking to keep active without worsening your condition. In fact, one of the surprising facts about DDD is that specialized exercises like these can improve your symptoms.
Understanding what not to do if you have degenerative disc disease is crucial in managing symptoms and prolonging your quality of life. Through smart decision-making and prioritizing self-care, you can mitigate the negative effects of this condition and continue enjoying the activities you love.