Health Blog

An ounce of prevention may lessen the effects of degenerative disc disease

Degenerative Disc Disease


Degenerative Disc Disease is a condition that evolves over time. As we age, we all will have changes occur in the spine, it is simply a natural part of growing older. While the process itself is inevitable, not everyone will experience symptoms. Back and neck pain, especially when bending, twisting or lifting, can be signs of degeneration of the discs in the spine. If you experience radiating pain, muscle weakness or numbness, it is important to have an evaluation by a physician, or physical therapist, to determine the underlying cause, and prevent any further collateral damage.

Be proactive and follow these simple steps to reduce your risk of developing symptoms, or to lessen the impact of disc and joint problems.

Change your diet.

There is no magic bullet or miracle food that will eliminate DDD. However, certain foods do have properties that help the body heal faster and reduce the effects of the natural wear and tear that comes with aging.

There is no magic bullet or miracle food that will eliminate DDD. However, certain foods do have properties that help the body heal faster and reduce the effects of the natural wear and tear that comes with aging.

  1. Salmon, and other oily fish, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, a recognized remedy to help reduce inflammation. Try adding fish to your diet several times a week.
  2. Nuts, especially walnuts and almonds contain antioxidants. A diet that contains nuts on a regular basis will help repair the damage to our body caused by inflammation.
  3. Strawberries, Raspberries and blueberries are powerful weapons in fighting the damage age inflicts on our bodies. And, as an added bonus – oh so delicious!
  4. Onions and garlic have been thought to help our immune system and act similarly to pain medications like ibuprofen.
  5. Ginger is an anti-inflammatory and is thought to be instrumental in pain relief. Because ginger may interfere with certain prescription medications,check with your health care provider.


Physical activity will help increase blood flow and nutrients to muscles. Just thirty minutes a day will go a long way in keeping us mobile and pain-free. Exercise will help our body produce more endorphins, which alleviate the discomfort caused by joint disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends 150 minutes a week of activity, including strength training, for senior adults. Low-impact activity is paramount. Aim for developing a regular routine that will strengthen your muscles, and bones. Try these low impact exercises on for size and see if any of them are a good fit for you.

  • Water aerobicsAerobic exercise can help increase muscle mass and bone density. Exercising in the water makes the movements easier, but no less effective. Join a class and see for yourself. This form of exercise helps increase bone density also goes a long way in helping with balance issues.
  • Dancing Yes, dancing! Sign up for ballroom dancing lessons. You may be surprised at how much fun you will have. Dancing increases your endurance, gives you greater flexibility and builds muscle and bone strength.
  • Yoga, Tai Chi and Pilates all focus on slow low-impact movements that help improve body alignment, reduce stress and develop better balance . Holding a position in yoga requires zeroing in on and working specific muscles. The more we practice the better we get and the stronger our muscles become. Increased muscle strength is directly proportional to decreased pain.
  • Walking has many health benefits. A regular walking routine will strengthen muscles and enhance our stability. This type of exercise increases our circulation and gives us greater range of motion. The more we walk the more flexible we become. Warming up by stretching is an important part of any exercise regimen. Check in with your healthcare provider for help determining the types of stretches that will benefit you the most.
  • Stationary bike The use of a stationary bike is quite suitable for folks with back problems. It is a workout with minimum spinal stress and jarring. The push and pull movements work the quadriceps as well as the hamstring muscles and strengthens the back. Stationary biking has proven to reduce the discomfort of chronic low back pain by releasing endorphins(our body’s natural pain reliever).

Sit up straight

It would seem that your mother was right when she would constantly remind you to “sit up straight”. Poor posture can negatively impact the spine by adding unnecessary strain that may eventually lead to pain. Practice good posture. Concentrate on keeping your back erect while sitting and standing. Take care when lifting objects. Keep your spine straight and lift with your leg muscles.

Physical therapists, chiropractors and certified trainers are knowledgeable professionals who can give you direction on developing a strong, straight and healthy posture. These experts are able to design a personalized routine that will go a long way in preventing back pain.

Take control of your weight.

If you improve your diet and begin a focused exercise program you are well on your way to managing your weight.

  • Eat more fresh colorful fruits and vegetables, leafy greens, whole grains, and lean protein.
  • Practice portion control and remain mindful of the calorie count of all the foods you consume.
  • For that satisfying feeling of fullness, think fiber!
  • Don’t skip breakfast. Once again, mom was right – it is the most important meal of the day. If you start the day with a good meal, you will be less likely to overeat or splurge at lunch or dinner.
  • Don’t leave healthy eating to chance. Plan your meals. Make menus and never go grocery shopping without your list. Also, never go food shopping when you are hungry.

Maintain a healthy lifestyle and keep in balance. Looking good and feeling well is a do-able combination of a balanced diet, effective and regular exercise and making smart choices.


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Nancy Guenther
Nancy Guenther
15:28 12 Jul 19
Absolutely awesome! My walking has improved 110%. And my pain level is zero. I highly recommend them. will be amazed how much better you feel.
Tracie Baxter
Tracie Baxter
20:24 03 Jul 19
This was the only place that could help with my TMJ. If you’re suffering from TMJ go see Noel! He really understands the condition. I no long have to deal with constant pain! The whole staff at this office is amazing and very welcoming.
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21:33 28 Jun 19
The whole team is great!! I’m getting great care! I recommend Orthopedic & Balance for any issues you might have.
Joseph Mulholland
Joseph Mulholland
19:53 09 May 19
Amazing staff and amazing care. I came in barely able to stand up straight due to a back injury. After 6 weeks, I feel like brand new. Everyone was extremely helpful and easy to work with. Highly recommended!
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19:44 24 Apr 19
I am a PTA student that was required 16 hours of observation time. I had the pleasure of completing my hours at this Valpo location. The staff is incredibly friendly. They were quick to make me feel at home. In a way I was sad to leave, but happy to continue on. I hope to eventually work in this field with a work family this caring and knowledgeable about their profession.
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16:23 18 Apr 19
My experience has been a very enjoyable and rewarding experience in getting me to feeling better. The staff does a remarkable job and are fully qualified in their respective areas. The staff made it fun coming here and they were very caring and helpful with their clients!!
Tim Nash
Tim Nash
15:32 27 Aug 18
My first experience with OBTS was very positive. During the course of my 13 therapy sessions I worked with many different therapists and all of them were professional and competent. They were able to help me effectively control my pain without medication using their therapy program. Unfortunately, they could not get my physical condition back to the same ability as before. However, this is due to the fact that it was later determined by my doctors that I required surgery. I plan on returning to OBTS for my post-op physical therapy and have already scheduled my evaluation appointment. Scheduling seems to be a challenge sometimes but that's probably an indication of their patient's satisfaction and good reviews. Thank you OBTS!
Arlene Gross
Arlene Gross
15:58 22 Jun 18
Everyone that worked with me was helpful. I enjoyed watching the staff interact as they worked as they laughed and smiled making me feel that it was fun to exercise. My knee pain is less and I look forward to having the same results with my back.
Jose Ico
Jose Ico
12:43 27 Apr 18
My wife and I have been coming here for a year. They have wonderful customer service and the treatments were great. I could say that since coming here for treatments, I am now able to walk properly and sleep well at nights. They help you in the best way possible. The people here are great and we definitely recommend it to everyone!
Paul Grant
Paul Grant
21:51 03 Apr 18
I have read lots of reviews that say "the entire staff of ..." is great, and you know that it is BS.. .. Butt at OBTS that statement is true. The person answering the phone, appointment setting they work around my schedule. It is truly a team concept. Everyone that has work with/on me keeps me focus on getting healthy to play golf.... Even those employees that haven't work with/on me are upbeat, positive and encouraging both their patients and me..... follow up phone calls, positive, hand written notes of encouragement, reminding me to do my homework so I can play golf this year. Great Employees, Great Business!.
Diane Burns
Diane Burns
02:30 16 Mar 18
I’ve had an incredible experience here at OBTS. In just two and half weeks I’ve seen and felt remarkable results. My hip mobility has improved by 30%. I credit the excellent physical therapists and the deep tissue laser therapy for my gains. I’ve gone from walking with a limp and pain everyday to walking normally and know that I’ll be back to running in the future. Every single person is warm and friendly here. Great place!
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