Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

Anyone else with degenrative disc disease who leads an active lifestyle?

Brits90BBrits90 Posts: 1
edited 01/10/2015 - 11:09 AM in Degenerative Disc Disease
Hi everyone,

Posting here as I would really like to hear your stories if you had a similar problem to mine and how you managed to overcome the pain/hell. It would be really great to know of others with disc injuries who also lead a very active lifestyle at quite a young age but any help would be welcome. I'm 24 and before my injury/condition I lead a very active lifestyle, being a student gave me so much time to focus on weight lifting and pole fitness aswel as a job as a dancer.
I'm 24 and the pain started on the 19th September this year. I dropped something on the floor, bent down to pick it up and as I stood up I felt a twinge in my lower back. Not thinking anything of it I went to work later that day and took some pain killers. As time went on the pain got worse until I lost the feeling in my legs, I was taken to A&E to be told it was just a back sprain and to rest up, being a stubborn mule I decided to work a week later with a lot of pain killers in my system. I did this for two weeks until I couldn't cope with the pain anymore so I booked in to see an Osteopath who sent me for an MRI. The findings reported Degenerative Disc disease at L4/5 and L5/S1 and mild multilevel facet joint degeneration. Noted that both disc protrusions are shallow and central but with no evidence of neural compression. To me it was pretty horrific at the age of 24 I really didn't think I was ever going to be able to do anything again. My osteopath was hopeful and believed it wasn't as bad as he thought but 6 weeks with him I didn't feel like I was getting anywhere.
At this point I was recommended a chiropractor, I did a lot of research into this before going to see one and was quite worried of all the horror stories but I was at the end of my tether. After my first visit he took some X-Rays which showed my posture was really quite horrific due to walking around sticking my bum out for most of my life he said it kind of made sense that I was having trouble. I decided to give it a go and for the last 6 weeks it was getting better but extremely slowly and I was being told that I was being impatient. Perhaps I was a little bit when you are having to take enough pain killers just to be able to walk it really messes with your head and knocks you out for six. I was given Naproxen, tramadol, diazepam and pregablin alongside my normal dose of mitazapine and stomach acid tablets laprazanole. A week ago today I decided enough was enough and I'd let these tablets control my head for too long so I read an article on topical treatments for back pain which mentioned about using ibroprofen gel with menthol (Vicks vapour rub) on top so I decided I was going to try it and that day gave it a whirl and came off my medication. A week on I've had no pain and am feeling pretty damn good.
I believe a lot of my pain was my muscles in spasm and using the gel it hit the pain straight away, I also started to change things for the better and was drinking 3litres of water a day which was a big change from Coca-cola and started walking and stretching. I am now back in the gym taking it easy but feeling happy again. My chiropractor is very positive that I will be able to return back to work and enjoy all the things I did before but it would be really great to hear from you if you have been in a similar situation with an active lifestyle in any sports. I hope within time I will be able to get back on the pole and enter a competition.
Happy posting :)


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,846
    edited 01/15/2015 - 1:44 AM
    With any spinal disc problem the very last type of medical professional you should see is a chiropractor.
    They are trained in the finer points of the spinal cord
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • I'm so tired now sweety, I am now 57 yrs old. O'was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease at around your age. I tried chiropractor, and it was a bad thing for me, I ended up with Doc of Osteopathy and he saved my life for many years! I have outlived ALL the pills that used to give me relief. And I did like you, saved myself for a lot of years and was able to be very active, even managing a hunting breed dog rescue! Trust me when I say those dogs destroyed what was left of my back amongst other body parts, lol... and now my rib case is dehabilitating me, stabbing pain, burning, I can barely stand to wear a bra, and most times feel very anxious because PD the tightness in my ribs making me not breathe normally! What the heck is happening to me? I can't even walk my dogs anymore! I wonder what happened to my body? When did I become this sedentary person who basically lives on pills! Geese, at my age I should be out there golfing and water skiing still... My recommendation to you is keep active as long as you can! Hugs!
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,846
    I have been dealing with Degenerative Disc Disease since I was in my early 30's I am now 64 and has progressively gotten worse.
    But that was also compounded by the 7 spinal surgeries and 4 total joint replacements since then.

    The DDD slows me down a bit, but it never stopped me from doing many active things. No, I could'nt get into any contact type sports or activities, but softball, ice skating, non-contact men's hockey, tons of gardening, lawn and house activities. The more I kept active, the less of a problem DDD presented.

    Most cases of DDD can be managed through approved exercise programs and OTC NSAIDS. The name is much worse than the actual condition.

    Take a look at Degenerative Disc Disease
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • At 19 I was diagnosed with DDD in my thoracic spine. It was completely debilitating and I have never recovered. Granted, it did alot of bad things to the nerves in that area and now alot of normal things (like jogging) will send my nerves into a frenzy and its knocks me back down. Now, at 23 with a 3rd bad disc in my lumbar (along with osteoarthritis and that disc bulging) the thought of having my active lifestyle again is a dream! I spoke with my doctor last week and told him i would LOVE to be able to do normal physical activities again, but the thought of going running (which i used to do every day) is terrifying.

    I would definitely look into physical therapy and probably back off on the chiropractic care. I went to the chiropractor for about 8 years before my DDD became apparent and there is not really anything they can do to alleviate the pain, in most cases for me it only made it worse.

    If you are feeling better, that is great!
  • Hi, I am diagnosed with DDD recently (L4/5), but had been suffering from last 10 years (in late 20's). The first time it happened when in an active participation in a sport. It was a pinching pain which left me bedridden for almost a week. X-ray could not get the thing straight. After some pain removal injection doses, i was back to normal but tried to avoid heavy sport activity. Then onwards almost every year once i had this back pain coming for a week or two and then a heavy back to walk with. Since last year the back pain is accompanied by a nerve pinching and sciatica (pain going from hips to toe). Now the situation is facing a back pain initially and then followed by a sciatic pain for almost two months. Although walking in treadmill helps me for this sciatic pain, but i dont know how much it is safer for DDD. What are the exercise limitations to DDD ? Does walking and running at mild speeds (8kmph) is alright or damages the Disc?
  • I used to power lift. At my best, I was squatting 2x bodyweight, deadlifting 1.5x bodyweight, and could do 8 pull ups per set. Now I can barely lift 50 lbs bags of dog food on my best day. I'm happy to be able to walk.

    Edited to add: Heeled shoes are out of the question. Even a 1" heel kills my spine. I wear only flat orthtic type shoes now. They may make your "bum" and legs look great but my advice, if you haven't already, is throw those heels out. Your spine will be much happier.
  • Hello,
    Just wanted to share that I have DDD and after walking almost daily, probably averaging two miles a walk, my pain has lessened dramatically and my mobility has improved greatly.
    Originally, I did three months of physical therapy and was diligent about doing the exercises at home twice a day and I had no noticeable improvement. Perhaps I had a subpar PT? I don't know, but walking has changed my life.
  • I was diagnosed with DDD in November with my L5/S1 disc pushing on my S1 nerve. I was FINALLY able to see a neurosurgeon (after 2 reschedules, 1 due to breaking my ankle) today and they recommended surgery. I wish I had known more about what my back pain was and maybe I could have gotten it taken care of sooner and maybe without surgery. I have been told that it is a long road to recovery but as long as there is a light at the end of that recovery tunnel, I am ok with that. I think my first injury was at age 20 but did not realize it, second at 30 something and did not really realize it and here I am at 42. I can't even pinpoint an injury at this point. I think my disc just had enough!
Sign In or Register to comment.