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Degenerative Disc Disease

Hello! (: My Names Kurtis And I Was Diagnosed With Degenerative Disc Disease In Early June And Im Only 15! :o .. I Just Started My Sophomore Year OF High School. And I Was Just Wondering IF there are things i should stay away from doing.. to not make It Worst?. Im In Weight Training Right Now.. But Whenever I Run and stuff my back starts hurting.. and i cant stop cause if i do my PE teachers gives me a F ;( .

Thanks (:


  • Hi Kurtis,

    If your able for it... do excercises that strengthen your "core". There should be lots about that on the web... but mind yourself, and start easy depending on your back pain and muscle spasms. You might want to get proper advice about strengthening core excercises from a physical therapist. my Ortho is always telling me... if i can keep my core strong... i'll delay further surgeries (not because of the DDD, but becuase my lumbar fusion is wearing out and causing grief at the upper end of the fusion!). And another tip for you... also keep your quadricep muscles (thighs) in good shape!! When you have to mind your back, you compensate with your knees.... your knees take the extra wear and tear.... so... you want to keep your knees in good shape too! So work on your leg muscles and they'll help mind your knees... and believe me... by the time your 30 you'll be so grateful that you kept your knees/quads in shape!! The worse the back gets over the years.... the more you need your knees!!! Make sure you stand properly if your say working in the kitchen with a lil step stool to raise up one leg on if you'll be standing washing dishes or something.... and make sure you bend over by squatting with your knees and don't bend over at your waist. It's all about minding how you stand, lift, sit.... and even sleep! For sleeping... its normally recommended to sleep on your side in a fetal position with a pillow between your knees and your neck properly supported! and as for the PE teacher... hmmmmm perhaps a doctors note????? Good luck and just stay positive!!! i've had to cope with lots of pain over the last 20 years, and i just don't let it stop me! Define the life you want and make the most of what you can do when you can do it! Good luck!!
    Diamonde x
    L4-L5 fusion 1998; ACDF C4-6 2008; DDD
  • diamonde said:
    Hi Kurtis,

    and as for the PE teacher... hmmmmm perhaps a doctors note????? x

    I would also get a doctor's note. See if there are any alternatives you can do instead of running. Maybe you can try swimming at the Y or community pool. Have your parents talk to the school. You should not fail a class because of something you are physically unable to do. Accomodations should be made as you cannot control your health. It's not like you are refusing because you DON'T WANT to do it; you are refusing becasue you CAN'T do it.

    Single level L5/S1 360 fusion with 6 screws and a rod (10/29/12)
    Diagnosis: Grade 1-2 spondylolithesis, Pars Defect, L5/S1 disc tear anterior and posterior, DDD, spinal stenosis
  • You are young and drinking lots of water they say helps keep disc healthy and dont smoke as that can make it worse over years, At 15 years old there are many things you can do to keep healthy spine eating healthy and the right excercise and D D D of the spine can become simply no issue at all,
    Many have DDD and never have any serious issues in life so its not as serious at it sounds,

    You knowing about it now you can avoid what job positions would posibly destroy your back in the future,
    If i knew how bad my spine could become i would have never went in to construction work at a young age and become crippled with pain by the time i reached my 30's, and now at 51 years old multiple surgery"s under my belt pain is part of life,
    Stay in school live healthy and excercise and you hopefuly will never be a victim of any serious spine issue even if they told you have DDD ! Good luck
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • Hi Kurtis, Personally I would ask the doctor for a medical note and make a photocopy of it so you have a copy as well. Next I would see a Physio Therapist, they will educate you on which exercises you should be doing and which ones you should be avoiding..As well inform them of all the sports you participate in. If the Physio Therapist recommends that you need to avoid certain exercises or sports...again I would ask them for a note...and photocopy it..for school. Good Luck & Take care.
  • charryccharry Posts: 5,657
    edited 09/15/2012 - 10:57 AM
    Your Dr. may send you to a Physiotherapist but go to one at the children's hospital where they specialize in treating younger kids or young adults like yourself and possibly get warm water aquatherapy. Maybe even see a Physiatrist (sports and rehab Dr.) also to instruct you also in proper techniques and weight lifting as it can be harmful if done wrong.

    Don't bend at your waist anymore but crouch down to reach something on the ground. Always support your back when getting up out of a chair or bed instead of hauling yourself up with your back. Drink lots of water.

    I do the exercise listed here on Spine health where I sit or lay down with knees bent laying down and gently pull navel toward the spine to get pain relief and strengthen the core. http://www.spine-health.com/video/sciatica-exercises-degenerative-disc-disease-video of course check with your Dr. before any strenuous activity.

    Get a note for your PE Teacher from your Dr. saying you can walk but not run with your back condition. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • 4life44life Posts: 36
    edited 10/03/2012 - 3:17 AM
    I have DDD and am suspected of having it from an early age. My first bit of advice is that you are your best judge for what is right or wrong for your back. Over the years ive learnt what i can do and what i shouldnt do. the best way i understood what was happening with my back was that the discs in your back act like shock absorbers in a car and yours could do with changing. Youve probably already realised this but sports with high impact where your hit the ground hard on your feet such as basketball or soccer will cause discomfort after if not straight away a day or 2 later, this could be your joints or imflamtion of your spine. Know the signs when they are there your health is vitaly important to you. go to your GP to talk about the problems your having with your school. On a positive note, something you could try is glucosamine. It didnt help me much but i think it may help you as you are still in your youth. You can get this in tablet form or capsules. Again you could ask your GP or it is available in most high streets. Try to get glucosamine chondroitin sulfate as this can help heighten the discs that are affected. Please at least look at this or ask your gp about it if you are unsure. I am 34 now and in the process of surgery. Well done on researching about DDD and asking for others opinions. Knowledge is priceless when it comes to medical conditions. One last thing and take it on board. Forums and message boards are very good for informing you on subjects but you will always hear more bad things than good about peoples experiences. Its human nature to complain rather than praise. Good luck to you and take care
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