Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD) can be painful, but it’s not quite as dire as it sounds due to its misnomer. The term “degenerative” implies to most people that the symptoms will get progressively worse with age, but this is not the case. And technically, it’s not a disease, but a condition of a degenerative or damaged intervertebral disc. This occurs as a natural part of aging due to strain, overuse, and maybe even misuse. As you age, discs – which act like pillow-like cushions between your vertebrae – start to lose its flexibility, elasticity, and its ability to cushion your movements. DDD occurs when the outer layer of a disc becomes structurally unsound, usually with small cracks and tears. These tears in the disc can cause nerve inflammation or irritation, making it uncomfortable to sit for long periods of time. Over time, this can cause instability and misalignment of the spine. Fortunately in many cases, people with DDD actually improve over time.
If you find yourself having back pain flareups generally made worse with sitting, consider talking to your doctor to get officially diagnosed with an MRI scan. In the meanwhile, here are some tips to help manage degenerative disc disease pain:
- Physical Therapy – Seek out a physical therapist that can help design exercises and movement habits tailored to your evaluation and physical needs.
- Seat Cushions – Make prolonged sitting at home, at work, or in the car more bearable with seat cushions. We have a variety to choose from to match you wherever and anywhere you’re seated.
- Cold/heat therapy – Sooth flare-ups and tired muscles with hot & cold therapy. Alternate with our ProtoCold Reusable Cold Therapy Pads followed by our MediBeads Moist Heat Pads. They’re both safe, effective, clean, convenient, and easy to use.
- Medications: In the case that pressure on nerves is caused by inflammation, take over-the-counter pain relievers.
Explore one of our more than 100 stores for additional information and a personal assessment by one of our trained associates.