What Happens If Degenerative Disc Disease Is Left Untreated?

What are the stages of degenerative disc disease?

The Different Stages of Degenerative Disc DiseaseStage 1.

In the beginning, the spine may lose its normal balance or curvature.

During this time, the discs, nerves and your posture may suffer.

Stage 2.

At this stage, your postural changes may be greater as the degeneration is greater.

Stage 3.

Further posture issues occur at this stage..

Does drinking water help degenerative disc disease?

“Drinking plenty of water is so important for everyone, but especially if you have degenerative disc disease,” says Dearing. She adds that staying hydrated can help your spine in other ways, not just by maintaining the water content of the spinal discs.

What is the best exercise for degenerative disc disease?

Your spine specialist may recommend 4 stretches to reduce back pain from low back degenerative disc disease: pelvic tilt, knee to chest, lower trunk rotation, and all fours opposite arm and leg extension.

What causes degenerative disc disease flare ups?

The greatest indicator of degenerative disc disease is a constant, chronic pain that then flares up with great intensity. You can feel this in your cervical (neck) or lumbar (lower back) region. These flare ups can be caused by a simple action, such as bending over to tie your shoes, or twisting.

Can heavy lifting cause degenerative disc disease?

Degenerative disc disease is often part of the natural aging process. But WebMd says these changes are more likely to occur in people who do heavy physical work such as repeated heavy lifting. A sudden injury that causes a herniated disc (such as a fall) may also begin the degeneration process.

Can you become paralyzed from degenerative disc disease?

If the disc herniates in the direction of the spinal cord or nerve root, it can cause neurologic compromise. Disc herniations in the cervical spine can be serious. If significant enough, they can cause paralysis of both the upper and lower extremities, though this is extremely rare.

Is degenerative disc disease serious?

Disc degeneration may cause no symptoms, or the pain may be so intense that the individual cannot continue with their daily activities. The condition starts with damage to the spine, but in time, symptoms can affect other parts of the body. Symptoms usually get worse with age.

Can you live a normal life with degenerative disc disease?

The vast majority of people with lower back pain and/or sciatica symptoms from lumbar degenerative disc disease will be able to successfully manage their pain and avoid surgery.

How should you sleep when you have degenerative disc disease?

People who have degenerative disc disease may benefit most from stomach sleeping with a pillow. It can relieve any stress that is placed on the space between your discs.

How can I prevent degenerative disc disease from getting worse?

Preventing Degenerative Disc DiseaseStop smoking, or better yet, don’t start — smoking increases the rate of desiccation.Be active – regular exercise to increase the strength and flexibility of muscles that surround and support the spine.Lift with proper body mechanics to avoid stressing your spine and herniating your discs.More items…

Does walking help degenerative disc disease?

Regular aerobic exercise, such as walking, swimming, or taking a low-impact aerobics class, has been shown to help relieve pain, promote a healthy body weight, and improve overall strength and mobility—all important factors in managing DDD.

What happens when a disc completely degenerates?

As a disc degenerates, small bony outgrowths (bone spurs) may form at the edges of the affected vertebrae. These bone spurs may pinch (compress) the spinal nerves, leading to weakness or numbness in the arms or legs.