Can degenerative disc disease be stopped?

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Written By Dr. Marcus Yu Bin Pai

MD, PhD. Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Physician from São Paulo - Brazil. Pain Fellowship in University of São Paulo.

Degenerative disc disease is a common condition associated with aging.

Degenerative disc disease is a common cause of neck and arm pain that is caused by the breakdown of the discs in the lumbar or cervical spine. This can cause pain due to pressure on the spinal cord and nerves.

Symptoms include neck pain, stiffness, radiating pain in the arms and shoulders, headaches, and possibly numbness or tingling in the arms. Diagnosis is made through physical examination, MRI scans, and x-rays.

Treatment options may include physical therapy, medications, steroid injections. In some cases, surgery may be necessary if the pain is chronic.

Can degenerative disc disease be stopped?


In general, the degenerative processes of the spine, once started, can be controlled, but they do not go back to being the same as before.

It is possible to prevent degenerative disc disease by adopting healthier postural habits. Keeping the spine straight, especially when carrying weight or staying in one position for an extended period, prevents the structures from being positioned incorrectly and helps to reduce stress on the discs.

The main objective of treatment is to control pain symptoms and prevent the natural progression of wear. The best treatment depends on several factors, such as the duration of the disease, the intensity of the pain and whether there is any change in the functioning of the nerve roots.

Therefore, it is essential to understand that spinal care will be a fundamental part of life.

Possible prevention tips for Degenerative Disc Disease

  • Maintain a healthy weight. Obesity is one of the main risk factors for spinal health. Excess weight can significantly increase stress on the spine and overload on intervertebral discs. This can lead to back pain, muscle imbalances, postural deviations and even nerve compression. Obesity can also increase the risk of developing degenerative spinal diseases such as osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis and herniated discs. In addition, obesity is also associated with a higher risk of bone fractures in the spine.

  • Exercise regularly to strengthen core muscles and improve flexibility. Exercise is essential for spinal health as it helps to improve posture, muscle strength and spinal flexibility. Exercise can also help reduce spinal pain, prevent injury, and promote greater muscle balance for better performance. Exercise can also help improve blood flow and your immune system, which helps keep your spine healthy.

  • Practice good posture when sitting and standing. Posture is essential for spinal health. Incorrect posture can lead to health problems like back pain, stiffness, circulation problems, breathing problems and joint problems. Proper posture helps align the spine, reducing strain on muscles, tendons, and ligaments. This, in turn, helps reduce back pain and prevent injuries. In addition, correct posture improves circulation, breathing, and digestion. A healthy posture can also help improve your self-image and confidence.

  • Use proper lifting techniques to reduce strain on the spine.

  • Avoid smoking. Smoking is extremely harmful to the health of the spine. Smoking causes the narrowing of blood vessels, which reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients reaching spinal structures. This can lead to weakened bones and joint degeneration. In addition, smoking increases the risk of developing degenerative diseases of the spine, such as osteoporosis, arthritis, and spondylosis.

  • Use proper ergonomics when using a computer or at a desk. Ergonomics is an essential field for spine health. It is possible to adjust equipment, environments, and postures through ergonomics to improve spinal health significantly. For example, when working with computers, it’s crucial that you are seated in an adjustable chair and that the monitor height is appropriate for your size. This can help improve posture and reduce pressure on the spine. If you have to carry weight, you must lift it correctly to avoid injury to your spine.

  • Take frequent breaks when sitting or standing for long periods. Frequent breaks are important for improving posture as they allow the body to move and stretch. This helps relieve muscle tension and pressure on muscles, tendons, and joints. In addition, frequent breaks can also help realign the spine, improve blood circulation, and reduce the risk of injury. Additionally, frequent breaks increase focus and concentration as they allow the brain to rest and reconnect with work.

  • Use an adjustable chair or cushion when sitting to help support the spine.

  • Avoid activities that require twisting or bending the spine.

Seek medical attention if you experience pain or other symptoms associated with degenerative disc disease.

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MD, PhD. Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Physician from São Paulo - Brazil. Pain Fellowship in University of São Paulo.

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