What is Degenerative Disc Disease?
Degenerative disc disease (DDD) is the most frequent cause of back pain among people older than 45. The condition occurs when discs that sit between each vertebra in the spine begin to break down and lose some of their height, which can cause painful changes like bulges or herniated discs.
Degenerative disc disease, or DDD, is pain stemming from a degenerated disc in the spine.
With continued disc degeneration, the inflammatory proteins within the disc will burn out, and the disc will have a hard time moving on the micro-level, which can cause intense pain.
Many people who have the disease in their early years are concerned that they will be in a wheelchair by the time they are old.
That’s why it’s important to address the question, what exactly makes degenerative disc disease worse?
Before we get too specific, it’s important to note that anything that is normally bad or has negative effects on the body, and anything that is normally bad for the back, is inherently going to make degenerative disc disease worse.
Your discs are found in your back. So when stress is put on the back or around the back or it is injured, your discs can take a lot of the wrap.
The spine is the support system for the entire body and the back is where it lives. When the back has an injury, the discs get injured as well.
For example, when picking up heavy objects or equipment, if you strain your back and don’t use your knees, you can injure your back.
For someone who has degenerative disc disease, your back would get hurt on top of being hurt.
So things that normally could hurt the back, are things that should probably be avoided by people who have degenerative disc disease.
Preventing Back Pain
Some of these things that can hurt your back, are lifting things that are too heavy for you to lift.
For example, trying to move all of your furniture out of the house by yourself can put a strain on your back and spine and can worsen symptoms of degenerative disc disease.
Another thing that is bad for your back and your discs, is being bent over, like at a computer. This is bad for your back.
Think of it this way: if it’s bad for your back, it’s even worse for your degenerative disc disease.
Some of the normal bad habits that can make degenerative disc disease worse are not eating a healthy diet, not exercising properly, and not getting enough sleep.
The fact is that having a poor diet means that your bones and muscles aren’t getting the proper nutrients they need to operate at their optimum potential.
It’s important to take care of your body for you to be able to take care of your back.
You’re only as strong as your weakest link. Your discs should be your weakest link. Not your body.
When you do not exercise, your muscles and bones lose strength and density and get used to less motion and doing fewer activities.
When you don’t get enough sleep, your body doesn’t get the rest it needs to recover from everyday activities and reduce stress.
If you have degenerative disc disease, having a poor diet, exercise, and sleep routine and schedule may not be making your disease worse, but it isn’t making it any better.
Slowing Down The Progression
Some of the things that you can eat to make your body healthier are bright vegetables, fruits, and other things loaded with vitamins and minerals. This will make your muscles and bones stronger.
Even taking vitamins is good because it can help you get the nutrients and things you don’t get from eating and drinking alone.
Drinking milk and other types of calcium can help you keep your bones strong and slow down degenerative disc disease, and exercise can help your bones get stronger too.
However, some actual everyday motions and actions can make the disease worse over time.
For example, smoking can make degenerative disc disease worse by making it harder for discs to retain water. It also eats away at the disc bones themselves.
People who smoke tend to show signs of arthritis and osteoporosis earlier in life, which also means their bones are going to be more brittle and breakable. This will make it easier for degenerative disc disease to progress.
Keeping Your Discs Healthy
Some everyday motions that can make degenerative disc disease worse are sitting, bending, twisting, and any other common movements that involve the backbones rubbing against each other.
Sitting has been known to cause some of the most severe pain for people with this disease because many people have a bad posture on top of low activity and low movement.
This is a problem because it puts strain, weight, and pressure on the spinal cord and also the discs, which make the discs degenerate even faster.
Walking or running, on the other hand, has been known to relieve some of the painful symptoms of degenerative disc disease because it alleviates some of the pressure on the joints and the discs.
In short, there are many causes of back pain, which inherently mean there are many things that can make degenerative disc disease worse or progress at a faster rate than it would in a healthy individual.
These things range from common everyday motions like sitting, bending, and stretching, to very bad habits like smoking and having a poor diet.
The worsening of the disease is something that can be slowed down by eating a proper diet, exercising, and taking good care of your body and all its parts.
Remember: if it’s back on your back, it’s even worse for your degenerative disc disease. If it’s good for your body, it’s even better for degenerative disc disease.