In my opinion, degenerative disc disease isn’t actually a disease. The term “disease” often carries a negative tone, but the reality is that degeneration of your intervertebral discs is actually a natural part of the aging process. It’s just that some people respond differently to this process.
Healthy discs are well hydrated but, with the age they can become dehydrated. This can result in weakened, stiff and rigid discs which may change the way your spine moves, causing back pain, nerve problem and other degenerative disc diseases symptoms.
Surgical treatment is an option in cases of severe, debiliting lumbar degenerative disc disease, and is usually only recommended after at least 6 months of non- surgical treatment. Most of cases of degenerative disc diseases can managed using non-surgical methods and do not require surgery for effective pain relief. However, if you develop significant nerve problems or loss of bowel and bladder control, which is the serious disorder called cauda equine syndrome, surgery may be required.
Your doctor has probably mentioned the importance of exercise and the need to strengthen your abdominal muscles and that helps to reduce stressfrom your disc, which can affect the muscles and ligaments that connect these bony structures.
Strong core muscles can help to support degenerated disc. And fortunately, when it comes to preventing degenerative disc diseases from getting worse, you have several treatment options in addition to exercise. Work with your doctor to create a treatment plan for your degenerative disc diseases- one that include combination of exercise, physical therapy and medication.
Dr. Vinit Dhokchaule (PT)