Herniated Disc Facts Ch5
Degenerative Disc Disease

A Herniated Disc is Uncommon in People over 50 years old

When you have a herniated disc, this is a signal that you need to be more careful and smarter about your back.  This will reduce your risk of another disc herniation and also reduce your risk of developing degenerative disc disease.

However, as we age the risk of degenerative disc disease increases.

  

  

Lifestyle choices that you make throughout your life will determine your risk of degenerative disc disease. This may be related to recreational exercises, occupational activities, diet, or genetics; among other factors.

Three of these can be controlled by you.

As we age our discs become less flexible. The nucleus inside the disc loses its fluid content and the annulus becomes more stiff. 

As the discs gradually become more dried out and desiccated the risk of a herniated disc decreases.

When the interior of the disc is stiff and dry it is less likely to be pushed through a crack or break in the annulus. 


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Prevent Degenerative Disc Disease

Moderate exercise, a healthy diet, and avoiding smoking can all help to prevent degenerative disc disease.  

Exercises that help to protect your back include exercises that help you stay flexible and improve your posture.

Best Exercises

You should try to avoid heavy lifting, anything that involves repetitive bending, and contact sports.  

Bicycling and Pool Exercises

The best exercises for your back and other joints are cycling and pool exercises.  

The best bicycle for your back is a recumbent bicycle that supports your back while you exercise.

Control Your Diet

Managing your diet is important because your body needs a variety of healthy foods in order to stay strong and flexible.  

Control Your Weight

It will also help you control your weight.  Any extra pounds that you carry up front puts an extra load on your back including your discs.

Hydration is also important.  Getting enough water and avoiding dehydration will assist in keeping you flexible.  It will help to prevent your discs from drying out and cracking.

Avoid Cigarettes

Your intervertebral disc does not have its own blood supply.  It must absorb oxygen and other nutrients from the tissues that surround it.  Smoking cigarettes, actively and passively, reduces the oxygen level in your blood by 50%.

When you smoke cigarettes it reduces the oxygen that your discs need to stay healthy.  This will increase your risk of developing degenerative disc disease.

Keep Your Back Healthy and
Don't Smoke Cigarettes

The good news is that degenerative disc disease is not treated with surgery. 

The bad new is that there are not a lot of really good treatments for pain from degenerative discs. 

Discover more about degenerative disc disease causes and treatments at Degenerative Disc Disease and You

Review Herniated Disc Facts

     Ch1, Understanding the Anatomy


     Ch2, Activities that Increase your Risk of a Disc Injury


     Ch3, What happens when a Disc Herniates?


     Ch4, When Pressing on a Nerve Causes more than Pain


  

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