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How can I slow down my degenerative disc disease?

Dr. Langston T. Holly, MD
Neurosurgeon

It is very difficult to slow down degenerative disc disease. There are a number of factors that affect the progression of degenerative disc disease. Genetics play significant role. Some people have a relatively good family history for more slowly advancing degenerative disc disease, whereas others come from families where many of their relatives have required spine surgery by their middle age. Environmental factors are also likely to play a role as well. For instance, exercise is good for your body, but it is much better to jog or walk on grass or a rubber track than on hard pavement. Repetitive pounding on hard surfaces during exercise is more likely to add stress to your spine, and perhaps add to the degeneration.

Since there is no blood supply to the discs, the healthier you are overall the healthier your spine will be and the healthier your disc will be. Losing weight if you are overweight will help relieve some stress on your spine, and core muscle strengthening will help stabilize and support the spine.

Dr. Vonda Wright, MD
Orthopedic Surgeon

As we age, our back discs lose fluid, which causes shrinkage and degenerative disc disease. In this video, Dr. Oz guest Dr. Vonda Wright reveals the number-one thing you can do to slow down the disease.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.