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Degenerative Disc Disease

Have you had a diagnosis of Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD for short)? Don’t worry, it sounds worse than it is! Here at The Back and Body Clinic, we’re used to spending time reassuring patients that come to see us about DDD, and who are so worried about their diagnosis.

As a degenerative disorder, it’s actually part of the natural aging process (sadly!) but – it certainly doesn’t have to mean a lifetime of pain. When it comes to taking the shock out of a DDD diagnosis, it’s really helpful to understand that your discs are the shock absorbing structures that lie between each vertebra, allowing movement, absorbing shock and providing stability to your spine. They are the things that allow us to jump and bound, taking the shock out of the impact. As we age, the discs will become ‘degenerative’ however, that doesn’t mean they are not as strong – they can still be strong! Sometimes though, through the degenerative process, and often as a result of ‘over doing it’ (this can be anything from overdoing it in the garden to overdoing it in the gym) the discs become painful. Once they are painful, movements like bending, going to sit, getting up to stand, slumped sitting, lifting, carrying, weightlifting, coughing, sneezing, straining and sudden forced movements can aggravate the discs. This can then cause pain in the back that can be felt right down to the buttocks or up to the mid-back and in some cases, into the groin and or right into the buttocks.

The good news is, that with the right treatment, advice, exercises and not ‘over doing it’ in those activities that may have caused the problems in the first place, most DDD quietens down… so much so that you won’t even know it’s there! Now, that’s good news!



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